Wednesday, September 2, 2015

"I Am A Terrible Writer"

I have heard this more than once. Actually, I have heard this more than 50 times. As a child, it was something I learned to say to myself, as you can read in my story.

Faculty certainly do not help our students in this regard (often). At least half of the time a student is mentioned in one of our faculty meetings someone says "They are a terrible writer" or something to that effect.

But what does this really mean, "a terrible writer." Problems with line by line grammar? Not understanding the conventions of an academic article? Not having mastered writing productivity? Inability to express oneself?

As with the similarly glib and all encompassing writer's block, you really need to deconstruct what this means to and for you. You need to understand all your strengths as a writer; I am sure that there are many. Nobody is a "terrible writer"-we all have areas to improve, but many areas of strength. Identify your limitations and weaknesses, and seek to fix them. One by one, work on them, and watch your writing improve.

Work on that internalized critic that feeds upon  your all encompassing, either or lies lies. Writing is a complex act. You have strenghts and weaknesses. Maximize your strengths. Work on the weaknesses. Go forward.

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