The nagging sense of being an academic fraud was a part of my soul since childhood. In the small, poor schools I attended, I reasoned that it was easy to be labeled smart. As the first person in my family to attend college, even though I did well I lacked confidence because I knew I was missing something. It wasn’t until I was in my Master of Public Administration program that an old professor pulled me aside and said, “You haven’t been taught how to write, have you?” My face flashed red and fighting back tears I simply replied, “No.” He asked if I would like to learn how to write an essay and that it would take an hour. An hour! I jumped at the opportunity.
Quickly, writing became a task to master, a confidence booster, and a soul healer all in one neat and organized academic paper. That is where I found joy in writing persuasively. So while I shy away from calling myself a writer, I can’t deny that as a blogger, I write! And while I know I don’t write very well compared to those whose primary passion is writing, I write well enough to make a persuasive case for my primary passion, the high value of family life.
I’ve passed down to my children what that good ol’ prof taught me about writing. My oldest is an official writer with a degree in Journalism and the heart of a poet. My second child transforms his writing into engaging and persuasive presentations. My third child creates beautiful stories in spite of challenges. And my eight year old, well, he’s likely drawing pictures of an epic battle when he’s supposed to be writing, but that’s OK for now. Confidence and skill in writing will be his too because our family values writing and sees it as a basic tool for a happy life.
So thank you, Jason, for the Challenge – Most Influential “Writing Moment”. And thank you, Professor R. for seeing my suffering, reaching out in kindness, and giving me and my children the precious gift of writing. Rest in peace, dear sir.
Do you self-identify as a writer? If not, why not? Does writing make you happy? Do tell 🙂
Happy writing ~~~~~~~~ Angie Mc