Writing as an Art Form
I create art. Writing is an art form not recognized by other people. I began my journey into the ever-changing world of writing at a young age. Since then, it has been a valuable and important aspect in my life. But there was one instance that changed the way I thought of it all.
I was a quiet person in middle school. One of those people whose confidence level wasn’t exactly on par. Early on, I found that writing honestly helped. Just jotting down a few ideas here and there. I soon realized that writing was not a talent as I had thought before. One does not have to be naturally gifted to write a short story or a poem.
Writing is an acquired skill that anyone can master with practice and training. With that thought in mind, I began training myself. I started writing a small amount of meaningful poetry, although I never had the guts to show anyone. Until I was put in Mrs. Ealy’s class. Mrs.
Ealy was an 8th grade language arts teacher. I was a 7th grader, put in this class not for my abilities rather because space was limited. My writing ability had increased substantially in my opinion but my confidence had not. The poetry I had written collected a thick layer of dust when the poems were stowed away inside my locker and dresser drawers. It wasn’t until the format of poetry was taught to the class that I began showing some. My closest friend learned about my love for the genre first.
But she wasn’t as interested as I assumed she’d be. As the subject came forward, I showed a few of the simple poems to Mrs. Ealy. They weren’t award winning poems and I knew they’d never be. But they were enough to impress her.
It was then that I knew that Mrs. Ealy would be an inspiration to me in the years to come. As my 7th grade year continued, I started to move away from my comfort zone. Instead of just writing rhyming verse poems, I moved on to writing limericks, acrostic poems and haikus. Nearly everyday in class after that, I was specifically asked to read the material for the unit out loud in class. It was not my material rather the generic material that was worked on.
Usually poems by Emily Dickinson or Langston Hughes. I may have been somewhat of a show-off, often enunciating the words and sticking directly to the rhyme scheme. Nevertheless, I felt a sense of pride. The poetry unit finished too soon for my liking and then the class was on to something different. This time, we were not learning.
Instead, we were actually writing an entirely fiction-based short story. There were only a few requirements. It had to be Halloween themed, 3 or more pages and it had to be typed. Even then, to me, writing a fiction story was as simple as ABC. I had many ideas for a short story revolving around the holiday of Halloween.
So many that it was hard to choose from. I put them all together to create the ultimate smorgasbord of scary and unusual things. We used the usual writing process consisting of prewriting and writing a rough and final draft. Personally, I could never actually use the prewriting techniques that were learned. I couldn’t write an outline including the plot, setting and characters or fill in a venn diagram comparing plot details.
So I just wrote until I felt comfortable with what I had. And then I wrote it over again. And again. I had a rough draft and a final draft within two days. The due date rolled around about a week after I finished.
There was an oral presentation that had to happen before giving the finished product to Mrs. Ealy. I remember how terrified I was of public speaking in general. I remember how I prayed to be near the last to go. I wasn’t. Instead, I was near the first one.
I stood at a mock podium, set up in the classroom. I specifically remember my leg bouncing as I anticipated my turn. I stepped up to the podium, nearly tripping over my own feet as I heard my name being called. I stood in front of the class, absolutely terrified. At that moment, I knew for a fact I was going to mess up.
And, in a way, I did. The flow in my words worked well with the theme of my story and that’s exactly what Mrs. Ealy said after my initial oral performance. The oral performance was the least of my problems after that. I spent days worrying that my composition wasn’t good enough.
Then, I received it back. There was written feedback on it, speaking about the writing itself and of the plot of the story. It was all good feedback. Once again, I realized that my skill was building. In May, school was coming to an end. While it seems like everyone would be absolutely elated, I was not.
It would be the last year that Mrs. Ealy would even be teaching at that school. The awards assembly on the last day of school was the last time I saw her. Everyone was called up for honor roll and merit roll as well as perfect attendance. And then came the awards for the individual subjects. Mrs.
Ealy’s Language Arts was the final one for the day. “You’d never think that such powerful writing could come from such a quiet young lady.” And then she called my name, presenting the award to me. I walked to the stage, accepting it with such gratitude as well as hesitation. Could this actually be happening? The answer to that is yes.
It did happen. I received an award because of something I learned to do. Something that was practiced as opposed to something that I was naturally gifted with. I taught myself something about writing in general. It helps to learn to enjoy it because you’ll have to do it.
Without the silent encouragement I received from my 7th grade Language Arts teacher, I don’t think I’d be anywherenear where I am today in the course of writing.