I really love the inspirational posts about great teachers. Sincerely, I do. I still remember some gems from high school and college. Those folks make a difference on a dime. They bleed for their students, and frankly the work they put in should qualify them for sainthood – and that’s even ignoring how unappreciated educators tend to be.
The story of how I started writing, however, isn’t about an inspirational speech.
It was seventh grade. I was twelve, a preteen on the cusp of being overly dramatic. We had a school project that I don’t recall much about, except it had something to do with writing a story and drawing pictures. My friend did all of the drawing, I did all of the writing.
This was because I couldn’t draw. A literary protégé I was not, I assure you.
At any rate, we got our grade. It was a B-. We got deducted because my writing ‘wasn’t very creative’ and ‘I needed to work on my imagination.’
When asked about it, my teacher said:
“It’s alright, V. Some people just aren’t very good at writing.”
I was infuriated. Utterly infuriated. My little twelve year old self had never been so grievously offended. How dare she! I was a great student! I had plenty of imagination! I could do anything I set my little heart/mind/soul to!
None of these things were true, but I was stubborn, which is arguably more useful.
Her comment kicked off a sudden interest in writing stories. I say interest. I mean vindictive hobby. At first I certainly wasn’t doing it because I enjoyed it. I doubt it ever would have occurred to me to try if not for her.
Once I’d given it a shot, I found out, by some miracle, that I actually did enjoy making stories. My writing led to more fascination with reading, creating a delightful feedback loop. I can’t say I feel I’m some sort of guru these days, but writing has become a sincerely fulfilling hobby for me, one that I look forward to and enjoy.
So I just wanted to give a little toast to you, Miss Thompson. If not for you, I may never have discovered this side of myself.
Also, f*ck you. (<3)
So tell me. What made YOU start writing?