The power of “not yet” in my past as a writer-teacher. Continuing from my previous blog, I’m back with Carol Dweck from her TED talk: the power of believing you can improve.
In the past I have tried to remain relatively open in what I wrote about, or so I thought. Truthfully, I was just writing whatever analysis my teachers/professors wanted me to write. That usually included symbols, arguments, etc. etc. I got some say over what I wrote, and I always picked a style and certain genre that I knew I was good at and that would get me praise, and a good grade of course.
I simply worked for the praise. I was never concerned with what I was actually doing as long as it was getting me praise, until about junior year of high school when a teacher told me she really enjoyed what I was writing, that it was entertaining, in a good way, for her to read an intelligent, well crafted opinion on a subject. Yes, I knew vaguely what I was writing, of course I formed the opinion, but once I turned it in, I no longer cared about what I had written as long as I got the grade and my classmates were questionable as to how I easily wrote fourteen pages on a book most people have trouble reading the first page of. From that first draft reading, I started to care more about what I wrote because my teacher encouraged me, much like Carol Dweck encouraged her students to do their best and keep coming up with ideas. That paper was transformative for me because I gave myself room to grow because I felt like a teacher actually believed that I could write about what I was writing about. It was a great feeling, I wanted to continue it. So, as a writer I stemmed from there, pushing my boundaries, stretching to grow, and I am still working on stretching those boundaries to further my writing abilities and to spread my own interest and care to other areas.