Why do I fear writing? I have struggled for years with my writing skills, frustrated that my thoughts come into my head faster than I can get them on paper. I end up with incomplete thoughts expressed through run on sentences. I have books piled on my bedside table from a chewed up Merck Manual (Thanks to my Old English Sheepdog) to several books that educate on how to write. They sit there and mock me.
This fear of mine has recently resurfaced as I was writing my essay for the Mayo Clinic Social Media Summit Scholarship. I think back to my high school days and I remember it like it was yesterday. I was a junior at the time, in a class for those who struggled with grammar. Our English teacher must have been having a bad day and decided to take it out on her class of struggling students. Maybe our class as a whole did not do well on certain assignment, or test. Her frustration that day has impacted me my whole life. Her words stung, "There is not one person in this class who will ever be accepted to college, your writing stinks... you may as well find jobs that do not require a college degree". Those words had crushed many aspiring souls that day. I believed her for a long time so did my other classmates. We would talk about it in the hallways, ashamed that we were not smart enough.
Thankfully many of us did not let that stop us from pursuing what we wanted in life. My writing fear continued to be with me through my college years. I did, as many others in that English class, succeeded in making it through college. I received a AAS degree in graphic design then continued on to get an AAS in Nursing.
Writing is becoming a large part of my life. It may come in a scribble of notes, without proper punctuation but I am writing. Writing is a therapy for many with illness. It helps us make sense of what is happening in our lives. So I will continue to conquer my fear of nouns, verbs and adjectives by expressing my thoughts through written words. I will open the pages of the self help books for writers and take to heart the wisdom they have to offer. I will be open to constructive criticism and embrace the opportunity to learn from my mistakes.
My Essay: Social Media Summit Scholarship Essay – Kari Ulrich