The first time I truly thought I was a good writer was my freshman year of college. My roommate, at the time, told me I was. We were sitting on my bed. I was telling her about my final paper idea and how I wasn’t sure if I should take the risk. She looked down at her notebook and said “you’re a great writer, why wouldn’t you take the risk”. She said it nonchalantly, like it was a fact. She hadn’t even read anything I had written, yet I was so starved of reassurance and acceptance that I believed her. It didn’t matter that she hadn’t read anything, she just knew.
In high school I had thought of myself as a decent writer; I was just smart. I could get an “A” on my essays writing them the period before they were due, but so could the other “smart kids”. I liked poetry but I tried too hard, or so I thought. Reading my poetry from high school makes me cringe but then again, that’s its appeal.
The first time I thought I had any talent was spring semester of 2018. I read my first piece at the first fiction workshop and was overwhelmed with positive feedback. I was accepted and reassured. I’m supposed to be here. In high school friends constantly picked on me for being a “poetry freak”. I never shared my poetry, except in class on reading days. My friends made fun of me and my family never asked nor did I volunteer to share. After my first in class reading I was praised by my classmates for my ability. I was validated.
In the first few weeks of the class, I, just like everyone else, picked a few people that I deemed “the good ones”. The writers who were born for this; they were destined to be in this class. Never in a million years did I think I would be someone else’s “good one”. I was ok with that, it didn’t matter if I was the best. I wanted to be here, so I was. I had just as much a right as they did. My favorite writer in the class stopped me after the creative nonfiction workshop and urged me to go into the writing world. My favorite writer in the class stopped me and pushed me to “not let my talent go to waste”. No fucking way.
That day came the realization that I am a writer and it doesn’t fucking matter what other people think. I am doing this. I hope.
-Goober, July, 1, 2018