A lot of growth can happen in a few weeks ...

Aside from the abomination of a literature review I just turned in and the anemic rough draft of a research paper I’m about to send off to join it, I’ve largely learned to trust my writing abilities over past four weeks of this course. Being forced to write on a daily basis for the first time in nearly 15 years has been a great experience overall. Not since I was an intern at a daily newspaper have I had such a demand put on my writing abilities.

I learned a lot about writing (most of what I know about it) from Bettye Craddock at Kilgore College. Bettye is a legend, and I am not using that term loosely. The mountain of journalism awards Kilgore College racked up in her 30-plus year career is astounding. So even though I have never primarily been a writer, I have a solid background educationally.

I had never shed the feeling that I was not a particularly good writer.

Despite becoming a competent writer over the years, I had never shed the feeling that I was not a particularly good writer. It’s because when I started, I wasn’t. Even at Kilgore College, my emphasis was on newspaper design and editorial duties. When I moved into newspapers, I was a page designer first and a copy editor second. Over the years, however, I believe the basic lessons I’ve learned combined with my continued love of reading have helped me become a stronger writer. It is this class that has helped me realize it might be time to push myself out of writing blog entires and to look at other horizons.

I think with much more structure about things, much like I do with journalistic writing. I try to consider where paragraphs are going, and how I’m moving things forward. I try to consider more strongly how things would sound if I had never seen something, experienced something or if I had no other knowledge of something being described.

I also feel better about my ability to assess and discuss art in general. I have felt relatively competent in interpreting and discussing photography for a while now, but have not felt close to the same when it comes to work in other media. This class forced me to overcome my reluctance to broach the subject of discussing sculpture, painting and other art. In turn, it helps me remember discussing photography is also more than discussing the content of the image.

Overall, I have become more confident and willing to embrace my abilities as a writer. I look forward to turning my newly refined critical eye on my own work in order to better understand it, and also to be able to better discuss it.