Writer's Workshop is a time to write without abandon, especially in the early stages of brainstorming and free write before we get into the revising and editing stages. This is one of my favorite ways to write and the pieces I will share in this series reflect that. That's write, run ons and spelling errors are ahead.
I wrote this piece in class after given the prompt: "Write about a bad experience you've had with writing."
My sophomore year of college I took a literature and film class. After each piece of writing read or movie watched, we were asked to turn in a one page essay on a prompt assigned by the professor. I got an A on every one. Now, I enjoy writing and even consider myself a good writer. But I ain’t that good. (Example: I just used the word (nonword?) ‘ain’t.’ I wrote it out without a second thought.) Being repeatedly rewarded with high marks did not make me want to try my hardest. In fact, it had the opposite effect. I threw each essay together an hour before class met Wednesday (usually after a regular Tuesday night of karaoke) knowing it was good enough. Now, I don’t want to get holier than thou on you, but I am not that person I LOVE to write. Letters, journal entries, the playlist to mix CD, I will hand write it every time. But it doesn’t stop there! I like the feeling of putting pen to paper, but I also love the sound of typing on a keyboard. I have kept a journal since I was in middle school and as blogging platforms like Tumblr became popular, I put my high school voice out there for all to hear. My writing is something I’m proud of, not something I only want to be good enough.
I’ll never forget the moment I first valued myself as a writer. A couple years ago I got the opportunity to write for a two very different blogs. I loved both of my experiences, but I was right out of college looking for my “big girl job” (whatever that means) and neither of them paid and I really needed to go to grad school and what on earth was I even doing with my life? I was visiting a friend of mine from undergrad and met her parents for the first time. They were asking what I did and I began to ramble, “Oh I live with my parents and I got a degree in psych and really gotta go to grad school but I don’t know what in…” My friend stopped me, “Taylor’s a writer.” I was stunned. Oh. My. Gosh. I am a writer. I told them all about my experiences working as a writer, and I was proud. I want my writing to always give myself that feeling, I don’t want it to be just good enough.