I haven’t done a lot of writing in the past. However, the writing I have done has just been for my school. I have never liked writing so I kept writing only to what I needed to write for school. But the kinds of writing I have done are reports, autobiographies, and writing about people from history. I never wanted to do my writing assignments like I was supposed to, which didn’t help me learn how to write.
The few times I tried, the stories were flat and not at all engaging. That lead to the realization that my purpose is not writing great fiction, but reading it. My goal in academic writing is to get comfortable with the process of working with ideas that are difficult to grasp and putting my ideas on paper for someone else to read and understand. Lamott (1994) said, “The person may not have an answer to what is missing or annoying about the piece, but writing is so often about making mistakes and feeling lost” (p. 163). I am tired of feeling lost when writing about things that are difficult topics for me.
When I am assigned to write an essay, the first thing I do is panic. I panic because I always seem to run into the same problems with my writing process. I have no central idea. I have no clue what I actually want to write about. When I was younger, I always started by making a web or an outline because thats what my teachers encouraged me to do in school, but I don’t do that anymore.
From early on, I knew English would be my kryptonite. I was never interested in the subject and the books assigned along with the endless research papers made me resent the “boring” subject even more. It seemed as though many of my teachers in the past did not care for our feelings towards the material we covered or how we grew as readers and writers. We had no say in what we wanted to do or what we wanted to get out of the class. I understand that we had standards and certain things we needed to cover by the end of the year, but it would have been helpful if the teachers cared about what we wanted to learn, not only about reading and writing, but about ourselves as well.
I would start to feel anxious and nervous that I wouldn’t get into any college just because of how bad and ridiculous my essays were. After some time just sitting there and just rambling , I would finally have at least a page or page in a half to send off until I had my english teacher or mom look over it. I seemed to always get the same expression or chuckle from them. They would give me the look of “you’ve got to be kidding me.” It wasn’t like I did it on purpose, I had to constantly explain to them writing essays was not for me. The bad thing was this was how it always was for me when I wrote essays or paragraphs or even letters.
In high school I didn’t consider myself that great of a writer, but I always seemed get decent grades on what I wrote. I mean I might just not be giving myself enough credit on my writing. I’m not really sure; I guess I don’t really think that I do anything that greatly. A lot of people did want my help writing their papers in high school, so I guess I couldn’t have been but such a horrible writer. In high school, the most important things to me weren’t the people, the experiences, the parties or any of that; I prided myself on my work.
As a writer before I took this class, my writing was on the lower end of mediocre. It’s not like I disliked writing, it was that I didn’t like writing for a class because I found it very boring. I would actually write my own stories since it was a lot of funny and I have a bizarre mind so writing emptied my creative juices. Though, mostly when I wrote, it was for an English class, like American Literature or for my ninth grade class, English Nine. Those essays were roughly about Crucible, movie essay compassions, books like to Kill a Mocking Bird and others that I can’t think of right at the moment because it was two years ago.
Not to mention that in my second essay, I also was not able to proofread it either before submitting it. The sad part about it is that I had all the time in the world to proofread my essay and make it perfect. The result was that when my professor handed back the essay, I saw all his marks that I could have edited if I proofread it. This crushed me, for some of the mistakes I made were simple. My professor also commented that I needed to proofread my essay before submitting it.
I rarely did any writing out of school or for leisure as most people do. I only wrote because the teacher asked us to. Writing has always been forced onto me. Even though my writing isn't that great, I've felt that I've never been given the freedom to express my voice. Academic writing has always made me anxious.
I was intrigued with it, however, it was not passion. For years I believed my writing was not good enough because I could not properly express my thought process in a manor of which others could comprehend; I believed my writing was very weak. In the beginning of this class, the reason I was late for many papers is because I did not want to hand an assignment that demonstrate my lack of writing abilities. However, as the class progressed and I continued to complete the assignments, the more confident I became in my writing. Moreover, the way I have grown as a writer is becoming more confident within the words I wrote.