Many people struggle with writing, and I am no exception. I have often found it difficult to translate the ideas in my head to paper and then to make the words on the paper form together to be coherent sentences in cohesive paragraphs to organized essays! It is quite a task indeed, but when I finally understood the process, I was elated to discover that it was something that I could indeed do! I will never forget my first “A” grade on a writing assignment in 11th grade. I was relieved that I could finally do it, I was proud of my accomplishment, and I was driven to continue my success and become even better.
The first time I received an “A” grade on a writing assignment, the relief I felt was immense. My family had always been disappointed with my writing assignments; my handwriting was near illegible, my sentences were choppy and often incomplete, and I misspelled words frequently. In 11th grade we were given the opportunity to use word processors, and this helped eliminate some of my issues and gave me more of an opportunity to focus on the other larger areas that needed improvement.
I remember my paper was on Ronald Regan and it was pretty interesting, so the fact that I liked my topic helped also. When I received that “A”, my parents were impressed and so was my teacher. She stated, “I think it’s all starting to come together for you. ” What a relief! I was very proud of this paper. Besides being a good piece of writing, I had to do research, and I worked very hard on it. I spent hours finding the information and organizing it accordingly into subgroups.
I was definitely worried that I could not string the pieces together well enough for the paper to be unified and organized well, but I referred to the notes and samples that my teacher had given me, and I was able to copy that format well enough to make a good outline. I turned the paper in several times to my teacher before it was finished to get input, and she guided me through the process very well. I was proud of the attention that I paid to the assignment and the end result was very rewarding.
Now that I had worked to attain this skill and succeeded at it, I didn’t want to fall back to doing less than mediocre work. This first “A” paper gave me the motivation I needed to push forward and practice writing until I became more comfortable with it and it was something I did not have to struggle with as much each time I sat down to write something. I started keeping a journal and an online blog to help translate my thoughts to paper. Then I would often go back and proofread the things I had written just to get practice in looking for run on sentences, fragments, awkwardness, and spelling errors.
I would try to imagine myself as an outside reader to see if what I had written could be comprehended and understood easily. This was one way for me to practice that was not filled with pressure, and I felt better about completing assignments after that. Writing was a struggle until I did well enough at it to consider myself “able”. Now that I have the confidence from my first “A” paper, I know that if I work hard enough, take the pressure off of myself, and desire to do well, I can.