Do I Puke or Just Write
The shear agony of writing has been like the suspense of riding a roller-coaster: a cart increases acceleration, inertia moves the cart, and then a sudden 30 foot drop followed with 3 corkscrew turns. Then, an abrupt stop: my breakfast travels up to my mouth as the cart slowly descends backwards to repeat all the motion once again. As I step off the ride of anguish and hell, I feel the euphoria of being a survivor. As a novice writer, I embarked in English 3009 with feelings of insecurity, apprehensiveness, and fear. I feared being in a class with English majors. I felt less qualified, and I blamed my English language learning deficiencies. On the first day of class, my stomach had butterflies, and my breakfast rose to my mouth. The wild and reckless ride started as Prof Grimshaw entered the class. I reviewed the syllabus, and I thought, “Oh shit! Hold-on because this is going to be a ride of a life-time… ready, get-set … and go. Through the twists and turns of breaking bad habits, I have discovered through self-discovery and reflection that writing is a ride of hell and heaven, love and hate, tears and laughter, but it all requires work, inspiration, and practice.
In the Bat-Poet by Randall Jarrell, the author demonstrates the struggles of a Bat who is insecure about his ability to write poetry. In the beginning, the Bat compares his skill of writing to the beauty of Mockingbird singing. Bat confides with Mockingbird, and he recites a poem. Bat gets advice from Mockingbird, and Bat sets out to improve his skill by writing poetry about the animals in the forest. As I was reading Bat-Poet, I felt like I was Bat. I have a yearning to write, but I am so scared. I find that I doubt my ability like Bat did when he was critiqued by Mockingbird. Bat set-out to improve, and I felt the freedom of empowerment as Bat formed a plan to write about his friends.
As the story progressed, Bat realized the power of reflection, the importance of knowing your topic, and the value of having an audience. As I was reading Bat-Poet, the words from Moon and I and Choice Words echoed in my brain. I thought to myself: be honest, develop authority, research your topic, and then reflect. Bat watched and observed his friend Chipmunk, Mockingbird, and the bats. He gained authority over his topic by doing his research; then after becoming an expert, he wrote about the beauty of each animal.
Through my English 3009 roller-coaster ride, I can empathize with Bat. I was scared writing in class, but I harnessed my fears by practicing and trying new approaches. I discovered that my writing did not have anything to do with my English Language skills, and I accepted by insecurities. In a similar manner, Bat did not stop writing because he was a Bat and not a mockingbird, but he opted to find an audience and he read his poetry aloud. I also shared a fear of having an audience for my writing. Through peer editing and blog posts, the corkscrews of having my pieces of writing read by others is a lot less stressful. As I embark on my writing as a soloist, I am taking knowledge and confidence to explore the world of print by spreading my wings to fly like a bat, but I have to remember to collect my thoughts and share them with those that I care about.