Stepping Up To The Microphone | Teen Ink

Stepping Up To The Microphone

January 19, 2009
By Anonymous

Saturday, September 6, 2008, was the first time I had ever performed live for an audience outside of my family. Deaf Tom Crow, my parent’s band, was playing at the Avenue Ale House, and I was their special guest performer. I was in a completely nervous state, and doing finger-tapping exercises against the tables, to try and calm myself. Finally, the second set was starting, and I was opening. There were so many people there to see me play, and I was so scared that I was going to mess up. My mom called me up and introduced me. I grabbed my guitar, and was about to sing “The One That Got Away”, by Pink, with my mom. I looked out at everyone and stepped up to the microphone.
Writing essays is something I’ve been learning to do since elementary school. Over the years, teachers have taught me to write expository, personal, document based, persuasive, and fictional essays. Each type of essay explains and produces different types of ideas and styles of writing. Though all these types of essays can be very different, there are many similar obstacles and problems I have faced while producing these various types of writings.
One big problem I have repeated in my essays, especially the Who Am I essay, is writing from the ‘I’ point of view. Many times, I would start saying “you” and my feedback would constantly be, “Becky, I did not do this, you did,” or “I am not writing this essay, you are”. The essay that I chose to completely revise was my essay on who I am. I was able to have the chance to change all the you’s to I’s, and produce a much better version of the essay in which I had previously turned in.
Another issue with my writing has always been my examples. I have never had problems with producing examples to back up my thesis, but linking my examples to my thesis has always been a challenge. In my short story essay, the many marks I received back on my final copy were all “MEA-need to L!”. Although I have not yet received back my final draft of the Portrait essay, I worked very hard on finding that link back to my thesis, and stating it once my arguments were ended.
In my Who Am I essay, many times I would state something interesting about myself, but then exclude a story behind it, or explaining in depth more about why I put that fact about me in the paper. When revising this essay, I added quite a lot of expansion, and added more stories about myself, so the reader, or audience could get a bigger picture of who I am.
I believe that this year, I have learned quite a bit about writing. One important thing I learned is that I should not be afraid to redo something. Sometimes, it is important to just take a risk, and rip apart everything that’s already been written, in order to produce a better essay. I have also learned that nothing I write will ever be perfect, and that I can write a million drafts and still not be completely satisfied with what I have produced, because there will always be something that I can do to make my essays better. Writing a good essay is just like that first time I performed in front of an audience. It is just doing what I know how to do, taking a risk and creating something that may not be perfect, but can always change to make it better, and using my previous experiences to help me gain the courage to write a great essay, just like gaining the courage to step up to the microphone and sing.

The author's comments:
For my english class final, we had to write an essay about our personal experiences about writing, and the challenges we face while writing essays.

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