I Did Not Write Until 10th Grade

I was staring at the thousands of little dots in the ceiling tile above me, gazing upon them as if they were stars in the night sky. The school news anchors suddenly glitched upon the screen located in the front of the room, starting off the school year as they usually did, listing the announcements that seemed to enter one ear and exit out the other. The display abruptly went black as the static lines showing through the television image seemed to vanish into a bottomless void as she hit the off button. Standing to my side, was a rather peculiar looking woman, wearing a hat of marvelous sorts that seemed to grab our attention more than she did, simply by sitting upon her head. Little did I know, the very teacher who stood before me would be the one to show me the true definition of what it means to write.
    It was the first English class I would take that was not just the basic core class. It was called creative writing, and I would like to say that I took it to challenge myself, but honestly, I was new to the school and from the page of electives I could choose from, it dawned the least intimidating of the bunch. We were tasked our first assignment that day for homework, “Six Word Autobiography” it read across the google classroom post. I thought it would be simple, creating a mere six words that would tell a story as to who I am or at least, describe a part of me. I spent a decent amount of time on it, perfecting the one line that would personally define me to my entire class, “Health, travel, and happiness is life.” The next day, I was shocked to find that I had received a C on what seemed a fine representation of who I was. She wrote one comment on the feedback section of the document, “More powerful please.”
That was when I realized that Mrs. O’Foran did not want perfect. She did not want the surface me, the shell of myself I would wear as a mask to hide the real person that lived just beneath that. She wanted something real… “Winning the battle, blood, needles, insulin.” I wrote this with the words not appearing before my brain, but before my heart. I had never really written about my type one diabetes before, scared of awakening a reality that I had hidden away for so long. The time finally came when I was to share my six words with the class. I looked down and read it, only to look up again and see the room completely focused, not necessarily on me but more on the words I had just spoken. A snap began to echo through the room, and with the class’s reassurance, I knew I had presented my truest form of an autobiography. I was grateful to later see that my grade had changed, but strangely enough, the letter I earned no longer seemed to matter. I now had a deeper understanding of writing than I did before. As I found through this class, it can express what spoken word sometimes cannot.
I think what I like most about works of literature is the writing process that goes along with them. The manner, or rather journey in which the words upon the page develop within any great work holds a far more substantial value than the final draft. Just as I was at the beginning of tenth grade, lost among others, I never would have thought something great could come out of expressing myself through words. Yet, this peculiar, but inspiring teacher who decided to take a chance on me,  pushed me to better my thoughts and I was humbled to receive the award for 10th grade English student of the year. With that being said, I believe that the most important concept I learned from writing is that every terrible rough draft has the potential to transform into a masterpiece. Of course, I learned like everybody else, how to write in elementary, but I did not truly begin writing until tenth grade in creative writing, where my true literary adventure began.






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