Posted on April 29, 2014


To be a writer is to be invisible, unless you’re not. In a day and age where thousands of people express their thoughts and ideas in a variety of ways – whether it be Facebook, Twitter, blogs, or self publishing book companies – if you know how to write, it’s not much better than saying you know how to breathe. The only way to be noticed for your talent, if it can still be called that, is to be exceptionally exceptional at it.

I was first recognized for my writing “talent” in eighth grade, when I wrote an apology letter for misbehavior to my teacher. It was apparently so well written, that she went beyond accepting my apology, and commended me for it, as well as telling me she would keep it. Then again in ninth grade, I wrote an essay for my history class, to which my teacher was so enthralled that I wouldn’t have been surprised if he drooled all over it. Needless to say, I started to think that maybe, just maybe, I had something going for me.

Until senior year.

I received a C on the first essay I turned in to my English teacher, though I wasn’t deterred. I chopped it up to merely not putting in enough effort. It’s happened before. But lo and behold, the trend continued throughout the year – C’s, D’s, even an F; so much for my confidence. Can I go back to ninth grade?

My only ray of hope that year was an article I had written for the school newspaper; it had been chosen as one of the best articles of the year. Was my English teacher, then, just a bitter hard-ass? Quite possibly. Or maybe my essays were just crap.

I’ll try to stay positive.

Once in college, I started to regain confidence in my ability to write, ironically. I began receiving A’s on the essays I turned in for my English classes again. However, my work had yet to be recognized for anything. Each time a professor found someone else’s work to idolize and set on a pedestal for all to worship, I would be a little more than peeved. The thoughts that ran through my head were, “What about me? What did I get an A for if their A means so much more? They’re not even an English major!” That’s when it began to dawn on me that you had to be more than good at writing – you had to be really, really, really, really, good at writing. To be noticed, that is.

So there it was, my challenge: to accept that my “talent,” the one thing that I was proud of and had come to associate with my identity, was nothing special at all.

So far, it’s been a long and often discouraging process. But I’ll make it – somehow.

Posted in: Essays, Memoirs