Looking back, as far away and distant as it may seem, the beginning of online writing for me really isn’t far from where I am now in my writing career. No, I haven’t made a big impression on society, and I haven’t become a distinguished writer, but I’ve never felt a bigger growth or improvement in my writing. After this year’s task of blogs and timed writing assignments, essays and projects, I’ve never been so stretched or exhausted with writing, and with that, never felt so encouraged or confident in what I write and produce. With the help of my teacher and fellow writing students, I know that I have been challenged and critiqued in my skills enough to see a real change in how I think and approach writing.
One of my goals at the beginning of this “journey” was to always remain true to myself and my beliefs in the writing I made public to the world, and the ideas and conclusions I made surrounding issues both big and small. I wanted to build and strengthen my beliefs, rather than conform to popular opinion or suppress my ideas as I made them public, and I’m happy to say I think I accomplished this goal. I can safely say that throughout this journey and experience, I have been able to develop my ideas and beliefs through writing out exactly how I feel, knowing it was genuine. I didn’t just spit back out the opinion the world told me to have, and I didn’t lessen my real opinions in order to please popular opinion. My writing and ideas developed, and if I hadn’t been forced to complete blog prompts or in-class writing assignments, I definitely wouldn’t feel confident in stating that.
“Don’t try to figure out what other people want to hear from you; figure out what you have to say. It’s the one and only thing you have to offer.”
– Barbara Kingsolver
Kingsolver perfectly captured what I wanted to achieve, and although it takes a lifetime to be able to accomplish this, I definitely was able to stick to this throughout the year.
I now enjoy writing, reading and admire good writing, and appreciate the time and work authors put into the hard task of expressing themselves through words. I’ve always thought that excellent writing was easy to achieve for some, but I now know that even naturally-gifted writers have to work extremely hard and practice continually to be able to produce at the level of excellence they do.
This experience, this English class, and the habits I have acquired have definitely prepared me for future writing and opened my eyes to the hard and satisfying task of writing well.