10 October 2016

I Can Be a Good Writer

I will always remember my English classes in high school: the teachers always liked my writing and realised when I could actually produce something better so would push me. I learnt about how to write in so many different styles for so many different purposes and how to write well under pressure but also when I had loads of time to plan and research what I was going to write.

I was taught all the techniques of all the styles of writing and at the time, I didn't even think I liked English that much at all, so I am so thankful that I listened and took in everything that was taught to me because now that I value writing, I do have some of the skills needed.

I learnt so many important lessons from my English teachers in high school, but one of the most important ones was that I can be a good writer.

Maybe that sounds a little stuck up, and fair enough if you're there thinking "what does she know, she's only a teenager, they all think they're amazing". Maybe my teachers were just trying to encourage me so I kept going and didn't give up on my writing. Perhaps they just thought I was good for my age or for the style of writing, or something specific like that.

But I ask you to go back and reread my sentence...

It does not say: I am a good writer.

It says that I can be a good writer.

There is such a huge difference between those sentences and it is a little hard to spot if you rush through or let your schema* determine what you read but I love tricky sentences like these. I love being able to say or write these sentences and know that whoever is reading has probably not taken the right meaning. So I simply ask them to reread my sentence.

Watching them realise what I actually meant and seeing them then able to respond appropriately makes me smile to know that I can use the English language well enough and to be able to say so many different things and meanings because it is a skill that I really value.

So back to my key sentence, the difference is that my sentence is saying that I'm doing good, I'm making progress and I'm on the right path, but right now, I'm not a good writer. But I can be, I have the potential to be a good writer.

I like this idea because I read a post recently which was saying the why teenagers writing is rubbish and I understood it, but it also annoyed me because in a way it was dismissing us as writers now but also us as possible future writers. I know that if I work hard and put the effort in, I'll be able to achieve a lot and I want to.

I don't only want to be a writer and I'm not only creating this post aimed at writers.

I want to be an artist, a creator, an inspiration, a psychologist, a teacher, but also a writer. I want to create content which makes people able to see what they want to be and give them the power to have a mindset making them capable of being it.

Because I know life is hard and we don't all get what we want but maybe if we all tried that bit harder, fought for our dreams a little more and believed in ourselves, we could all be what we wanted.

Maybe right now you are rubbish at what you want to do, maybe you don't even know what you want to do at all. We all feel like that at some point or another. In high school, I had no clue what I wanted to do with my life and I know loads of people like that but also lots who thought they wouldn't really be capable of anything and some that had one idea that they knew they would achieve. But that doesn't mean you won't find your thing, or be able to become amazing at it.

I like the idea that when we are young we are all just experimenting, trying things out and figuring out what could become our thing so knowing that you can be whatever you want is definitely a good mindset to have. It will help you to not rule anything out and to look fairly on every career or life option because you could do any of it.

People tend to dismiss job and career ideas so easily based on what they currently hate or "know" they are rubbish at. We shouldn't be doing this, it closes doors to so many opportunities and experiences out there.

I understand that maybe we can easily rule out a couple of careers but just based on our own basic principles. For example, I don't want to be a GP because I know I want to be able to not have to interact with a large range of people on a daily basis. But I am not ruling out being a lawyer because right now I don't like the sound of that and I don't think I am clever enough to do it.

We all have our own individual passions and dreams which make us all completely unique individuals. Finding and living our passion is the ultimate goal in my view. If that is a hobby, a side job or a full-time job it doesn't matter, I think this is what we should all aim for.

But I think it is only possible for us to do that if we rule out nothing and believe that we can be whatever we choose.

* A note on schema:
Anyone who hasn't studied psychology probably doesn't know what schema is, I didn't until I started to study it myself. Schema is a mental framework of beliefs and expectations that influence cognitive processing. Basically, I meant when you're reading the sentence you're allowing your past experiences to determine how you read the sentence and not actually reading it word by word, just assuming its meaning.

What do you want to be when you grow up?