I hesitate to say the writing bug has ever bitten me. Not when I recall an incident my first semester in college.
You Can Write!
As I admired those words at the top of my essay, put there in red by my English professor, I could feel my hat size expanding.
Two fears had been consuming me while I awaited my grade. However, I was not sure which weighed on me more; my painful memory of secondary school when I had struggled with my teacher’s instructions on transforming an idea into an essay or, my concern about starting off college, in the professor’s class, on the wrong foot. Yes, those words in red, at the top of the page, were my redemption.
My new hat size must have infected my thinking when I turned in my next assignment. Why else would I have been conjuring up the different ways in which the professor could word his praise? I discovered I had missed one way when I scanned the margin of that essay on its return to me.
This in Nonsense!
The professor had gone from intelligent to idiot in the space of my two essays and I had the proof documented in red.
My head has long since returned to its normal hat size and the incident forgotten until recently when the innocent observations of a good friend dusted off memories.
This friend from high school, now a recognized high-school teacher and author of an acclaimed book on his teaching methods, called my writing style ‘engaging’. He thought I should expand beyond dabbling in online forums going so far as to ask if I’d be interested in writing an article for a magazine.
An article, I wondered, as in transforming an idea into an essay?
The notion was intriguing until, this is nonsense, popped into my head and I brushed aside any ideas his suggestion had begun stirring in me. However, his persistence paid off. I half-convinced myself that the one thing worse than failing was failure to try.
I now know painting pictures using words is intoxicating. I have not gotten drunk from it yet but I have sniffed the cork. I hesitate to label myself a writer as the Oliver Twist in me wants more. So I soldier on knowing I can do this and trusting in that instinct to overcome inevitable challenges.
The message here is no different than the message in any other pursuit. The keys to success are standard and universal. Determination and commitment, along with a strong belief in oneself can be motivators powerful enough to rival innate talent someone else might bring to the table. No bug bites required.
A swell-proof head does not hurt though.