Writing can be a source of healing and transformation, but what does it mean to be a writer?

The process of putting pen to paper is a somewhat religious experience for me. The strategically placed nouns, adjectives, verbs, etc. reflect how I perceive the world and it’s many challenges and wonders. It’s the one place where I can always be my authentic self- unafraid of judging eyes or snide remarks. The work speaks for itself in the same way that a Degas or Klimt can hang on an empty wall, enticing onlookers without explantation or justification.

Yet, for some, a blank page is not a source of excitement or strength- but instead a monster to be conquered. The monster petrifies middle schoolers when writing their Gatsby essays or stands in the way of an A grade for co-eds. For most people, writing isn’t something that one does for pleasure, but instead a challenge that one must overcome to make it through their education.

My transformation from one of the terrified students hoping to conquer a blank page to a writer in love with the craft was directly the consequence of a magnificent English teacher. I always loved to read but I never saw myself as the one creating the stories. I dreamed of distant worlds and characters- imagining travels through space and time or swift romances. Even so, I was worried that no one was interested in my daydreams while also didn’t know how to express them. Learning to reflect my passions and vivid imagination through writing monumentally influenced my self-confidence and development educationally. All it took was one incredible teacher.

Anyone can be a writer. All you need are a bit of imagination, practice, and a lot of persistence. It doesn’t matter if you want to study biology, engineering, political science, art, or english. You just have to believe in yourself and to know that learning to write one good sentence may take many horrible ones. Writers learn from their past failures and always dare to dream.

Keep shining, loving, spreading joy, and writing,