It’s so difficult for me to get out of my head at times. Though it’s hard for me to consider myself a writer, that’s what I am. I have a distant memory of the first time I wrote. My mother requested me to write a letter to my grandmother in Guatemala. I must have been around five or six years old. I asked my mother, “What should I write?” She replied, “Whatever you want.” I feel this statement, “whatever you want” allowed me to write freely, and it influenced my creativity.
The tricky part of writing for me was always the grammar. I did not grow up in schools where they taught grammar. They embraced creativity and free writing, but never intense grammar. My weak writing skills made college much more difficult. And yes, I cried several times out of frustration. I never had an issue writing an assignment. If the teacher said, write this or that, I’d think “challenge accepted!” In spite of that, I never got the grades I wanted. Most of my peers were superior. It was very exasperating.
The thing is, especially in college, that if you make a grammar mistake, professors and peers will perceive you as a bad writer–maybe even careless or lazy. Throughout school, it was always in my mind, “you’re not a good writer” or “you’re not good enough, just quit.” Thankfully, I have a stubborn spirit. I do ask myself at times, “how did I obtain my master’s in English.” And that is when I have to repeat to that doubtful self, “with hard work, sweat, and tears.” Some will find this outrageous. But for those of us who care about writing, we see it as a part of life.
In the beginnings of my college years, I taught myself grammar. My uncle had given an English book, and it was a great one too. This is how I got through my very first semester of college; otherwise, the professor had warned me that I would fail the class if I didn’t fix the grammar. Hence the reason, years later, I am highly insecure about writing in general. Though, I do have to admit to myself that I have improved a ton.
Then, of course, I read all these other frightening books about “what makes you a bad writer”–both on fiction and nonfiction writing. I am an anxious writer, which is why I concluded to embrace writing almost “exclusively for therapy.” I need to express. Therefore I write. It keeps it simple while I continue to learn.
Overall, that phrase, “[write] whatever you want” was the foundation and reason for that unquenchable thirst to express creatively through writing. It wasn’t my education. It was that letter to my grandmother, who passed away, unfortunately, many years ago.
For all the Americans, I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving. I find myself writing in the late hours of the night due to #foodcoma.
What are your writing fears? What do you hope to learn? What is writing to you? Please, feel free to share and answer all three questions or just one, and thank you.