I am getting my butt kicked! There are some amazingly gifted writers and thinkers in our group. I had no idea how much I did not know about writing!
Our first day one of the directors told us there were 3 things they assumed and/or wanted us to know:
1. We are all good writers--we could not have graduated from seminary without being able to string sentences together and be clear.
2. This is NOT a competition.
3. We are all in differing places with our writing abilities and we all have improvements to make and stuff to learn.
I've been chanting those three things to myself today. I am quite humbled by the writers that are here with me. Please do not chide me about self-esteem and the like--it's not about that. I've thought of myself as a writer most of my life. I've loved writing for a very long time. I would even say I'm a good writer.
I thought I knew and understood the basics of writing. How hard could it be? I've been writing complete sentences (off and on) since 1st grade, perhaps even Kindergarten. I had no idea about the many keys of the craft. OMG! I am in awe of what I don't know!
My first assigment was an epic failure. We were supposed to write an essay on whatever we chose but every sentence was supposed to be a "balanced sentence." A balanced sentence might be one that has parallel independent or dependent clauses (there is more than one way to balance your sentences--I think, I'm still working on understanding completely). Before we left to write our essays Mary told us that it's helpful to be writing about things/situations/idea that are an either/or situation.
My brain simply does not work in either/or. My essay barely contained one or two balanced sentences! It truly was an epic fail. Our assignment for tonight is to write an essay that is composed of series.
I'll be honest, school has always been easy for me. I've been able to BS my way through high school, college, and yes, seminary. It's done no favors for me. I don't think I've ever worked so hard on writing something as I did this afternoon and it truly was a disaster in that it did not meet the criteria I was given. It wasn't a horrible essay but it did NOT do what it was supposed to, or rather I did not write in the method that I was supposed to write.
Prior to the conference I was feeling a bit smug about being "chosen" for this class. There is no smugness left.
I am thrilled to be here and am loving it, however it is kicking my butt in a big way! I'm hoping to rework my assignment from this afternoon so that it meets some of the criteria of what Mary wanted. I've got a new assignment to work on as well so I should get to work on something!