For most people writing is an exercise in creativity. It is a way express what one has to say about the world or share their stories. This was not true for me for most of my life. In fact, it was not until recently that I started to have an inkling of who I am as a writer. I’m still figuring it out. What I am certain is that I am constantly striving to improve as a writer.
Growing up, education was not my strongest point and my parents did little to encourage me to study. They did not offer guidance in relation to my education. They did not force me to read or write much when I was younger, unlike other parents. Instead, they let me play or watch TV to my heart’s content. Had my parents been more encouraging or disciplined when I was younger, perhaps I may not be in the predicament that I am in as of late. I passed my classes in my old school but my grades are not that good. Furthermore, my reading and writing abilities are not appropriate for my grade level. Unfortunately, I did not realize this until my family moved to Washington. I attended Holy Rosary because my parents thought that my grades would improve there. They were right, but for all the wrong reasons. My grades did improve significantly, but it was not because I learned a great deal, rather it was because getting a good grade was much easier at Holy Rosary. I didn’t have to work hard to get a good grade, so the grades I received did not reflect my level of learning. To say the least, my prior education reflects the big room for improvement needed in the US education system.
Things changed, and I must say for the better, when I transferred to Bellarmine. Bellarmine’s curriculum forced me to challenge myself into becoming a better student overall. The first time I wrote any composition at Bellarmine—the first time I had written anything throughout my educational years—the deficiencies in my education showed. One of my first papers was for Mrs. Hannigan’s class. It was about my time in Japan. Although I had written it as a high schooler, it read like a sixth grader’s writing at best. The papers I wrote that year were weak and lacking direction, to say the least. Reading them in my Junior year made me realize how far behind I was in a school where true education took place; but it also made me realize how much I have improved. I, or my writing, took tremendous steps in the two years that followed. My writing abilities were pushed to its limit by Mr. Dudas. Mr. Dudas assigned more challenging papers than Mrs. Hannigan. However, this led me to improve my writing process. Instead of writing whatever came to mind, I started using outlines first. I also edit and proofread my papers before submitting them. As a result of this, my compositions became more refined. In junior year, my confidence in my writing declined as I seem to be unable to meet Mrs. Campbell’s expectations. I could not get the grade that I wanted, and could not figure out what it takes to get a good grade. Though my grades suffered under Mrs. Campbell’s class, it drove me to strive harder to improve my writing.
My education at Bellarmine awakened my writing spirit and made me the writer I am today. I consider myself a new writer so I am still trying out different writing processes. So far, I have been using outlines to help me write well. Although the process seems methodical and contrary to the image of writing as an unorganized activity, I find it to be quite helpful in inspiring my creativity. Starting with an outline helps me articulate my ideas easily and clearly. I found that articulating my ideas has been an obstacle to my creativity, so by removing that obstacle, I’m able to write with more freedom.
As of late, I’m still working on expanding my vocabulary as I believe that will help me write more creatively and clearly. As such, I believe that as a writer I am very methodical, someone who is specific about their goals and ways to attain them. At first, I was uncomfortable about my process as a writer, but learning that a lot of great American writers have a methodical approach to writing as well made me feel better about myself. Right now, people may find my writing as lacking in numerous ways but I know in myself that it has improved a lot in the last few years. I have a lot more to improve, but I have a plan on how to improve my writing.