Hidden Talent

A narrative essay by Shyniese Quails

As a teenager in high school, I faced many challenges. Most teens are worried about their appearance and fitting in; I, however was worried about becoming a better writer. It all began with me writing in my journal. I can still remember when I received my journal; it was an early birthday present from my grandmother. I was sitting in my room watching a rerun of one of my favorite TV shows, when my mom yells for me to come downstairs; she said that I had received some mail. All I can remember is running out of my room in excitement and tripping over one of my little sister’s toys. Hopping down the steps and holding my toe at the same time, I finally had my hands on my package. Paper flying everywhere, I laid eyes on a fancy, fuzzy, bright pink journal from my grandmother. Inside the flap, she wrote a note: “Look in your heart and write; writing is the painting of the voice.” After reading her note, created a jump-start to my journal writing. During my teenage years, I used my journal to express myself, which helped me improve my writing.

`            Writing in my journal was an outlet that opened new doors. I used my journal frequently throughout the day to express how I felt about certain things. At the end of each month, I would look back and read over my previous journal entries. It’s funny when you look back at your writing you notice many grammar errors that might not have been easy to identify the first time. Friday September 6, 2007 read, “my favoorite crush ask me to dance I said yes.” Reading that sentence, I immediately pointed out grammar errors that I did not see the first time. Reading over my journals help me gain a helpful skill in writing. Repeating the process of rereading my journal entries each month helped me to easily locate errors that I made often. As time went on, I began to write more of my sentences with less of the same mistakes.

Enhancing my writing skills through the support of my journal became my source on bettering my writing skills. In school, learning different writing techniques is usually boring and bland. Most of the time, writing assignments consisted of topics that I was not interested in. So, it was hard for me to locate errors, or figure out how to beef up my writing so that it could possibly be helpful long-term. When I started utilizing my journal to not only express myself, but also using it as a stepping-stone to assist with writing, it became more fun for me. I was not only writing in my journal to let off some steam, but eventually, I became more and more excited for the end of the month. It was nice to see how much I improved in my writing.

Once I was in my last year of high school, my journal writing became less and less. It was hard for me to balance everything and remember to write in my journal. Even though I was writing less, I would always reflect on the things I learned by journal writing. For my senior paper, I had to write about a time where something or someone helped me out in writing. I wrote about my journal writing, of course. I shared in my paper many different entries that I wrote and how I picked up on my own writing mistakes. Writing can sometimes be difficult, but if you find out what works for you, it can become easier.

After I graduated high school, I did not write as much, but the skills stayed with me. Being a good writer is not always easy. Throughout my teenage years, I only wanted a good grade in my English class; I was not worried about developing writing skills that would stay with me. Writing papers started off as a struggle because I was not interested in becoming a good writer. Writing in my journal has helped me practice and gain skills. Writing can be whatever you make it. The more practice you have, the better you will be. I encourage those who struggle with writing to find new ways to improve their writing.

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