Insecure Writer's Group

It is the first Wednesday of the month and time for Alex's Cavanaugh's Insecure Writers Group. You can still join, it is a great group of writer's sharing their insecurities and encouraging others. 


  Blogging brought my writing into focus. Back in high school, I did pretty well on my English papers and other class reports. I can remember four papers, in my life that received beyond normal praise.  I was in Honors English class and the teacher announced there was one exceptional paper. Everyone looks around the room, you know it isn't you, then you hope it isn't. You don't want to get up in front of the class to read it. Everyone staring and snickering at you. Then you hear your name, you blush, fear enters and your feet feel like heavy concrete.  Then you realize the teacher wants to read it. You can sit back and bask a bit in the glory, instead of feeling like the Court jester performing for a tough crowd.  One was a story about Fall, my favorite season, another paper was about music.

In college, a paper on Atlantis and a paper about believe it or not, being insecure.  I was not happy with the subject matter. It was a tough class, 3 hours one night a week, I was so happy I was living in the dorm, that semester and didn't have the 45 minute commute. I was struggling with this paper, when it struck me. A lot of my Teen magazines shared this message, trying to stay true, be you, and issues on self-esteem.  I started going through them, lots of great titles and ideas. It kind of wrote itself.

My professor, looking like a proud Father stood up and announced, he had one paper that he thought was exceptional. He wanted the writer to read it to the class. He shuffled around the room, going on and on about this paper.  It was a small class, only 50 students, the room was tiny and kind of claustrophobic. He is going on and on about the voice in this piece.  I felt queasy,  I want to run to the nearest exit.  He now is looking straight at me and I hear him say my name...Ellen Jackson. Somehow, everything is moving like slow motion,  I some how make it to the front of the class.  He is still gushing over my words and shares his favorite part, before he hands it over, for me to read.  It is funny to me, because in high school, I can hear my favorite teacher, Mr. Cloutier praise others, encourage them "You should be a writer".  I never heard that from him.  I started to read my paper and I like reading my words. I like the positive message and the praise I received. I have always secretively wanted to be a writer, but didn't think it was in the cards.


Today, you can visit me at the Imaginary Garden. It was my turn to share a prompt;  I chose to share a gift ;D   You could also enjoy this gift, just think favorite book, not poem, or favorite author.

Comments

Brianna said…
I'd almost forgotten how it felt to be singled out in class for something good - the nervousness mixed with pride. You captured that feeling so well in this piece!

I agree with you that poetry is a gift. The first poem I read that touched me was Robert Frost's The Road Not Taken. I read it aloud during for our eighth grade graduation ceremony and the words really struck a chord with me.
Ella said…
Brianna-Thank you so much! This poem was read at my high school graduation. I felt like you, it really struck a chord with me, too~
I think writing is a gift, too. Poetry is like a secret language, a message hidden made with painted words~
How nervous and exhilarating to read those words at your ceremony! :D I bet you felt proud!
Scarlett Clay said…
That's really cool, what great memories! My name has never been called out in a class but I can imagine that that would be thrilling, such a confidence booster and affirming. And those teachers were right, you are a great writer!! I'd say from what I've read on your blog, it could very well be in the cards after all. :)

~Scarlett
Ella said…
Scarlett-You are sweet! I need to go back and hit the books. It wasn't a confidence booster, till it was almost over. Then I was stunned, I wrote a paper based on topics in a teen magazine. I must of struck a nerve or something, for him to pick my paper. It would be nice; thank you! I loved your recent post~ ;D
Susie Clevenger said…
What wonderful memories and accomplishments!

My high school English teacher encouraged me to write...I got a poem published in Missouri Youth Writes when I was 15. Through my adult years my pen went silent. It has just been since the end of 2009 that I decided to write again.
Ella said…
Susie, that is wonderful! Wow, I am in awe~ My high school teacher didn't encourage me, but my college Prof did~ I am so happy you picked up the pen again! :D Thanks for sharing~
Amanda Trought said…
Your memories make me think back to my days at school, the one art teacher that was only with us for a term and back then she looked like a hippy with flowing skirts and long curly hair wildly hanging down her back, she was my favorite teacher who encouraged me to do art and would talk about my work.....you do have such a talent and I have always been encouraged and inspired by your work, your words come alive on the page and I could have almost been with you as you went up to read your piece, I am looking forward to going to the imaginary garden and see what delights you have shared! you stay blessed, have a lovely weekend, Amandaxxx
Stephen Tremp said…
That's a great story. I don't think that ever happened to me. I'd be nervous too. But this is something to remember and be proud. Its these events that no one can ever take away from you.
Ella said…
Thank you Amanda, you have always been such a great soul in encouraging people! You are so talented, keep at it! I love how genuine you are! I am so happy I reminded you of this inspiring time!
Your talents are endless~xXx

Stephen-I was rambling, but thank you! Yes, it was one of those shiny facets. College was a tough time for me, nice to have this memory. My Dad died the beginning of my 2nd semester and my Mom became ill. Thank you for your kind words! :D
i missed your writing....I am so happy that so many of your photos published in somerset....