Over the years I’ve learned a lot of lessons, but someone taught me one that I’ll never forget. Quite a few lessons have resonated and stayed with me over the years, but the lesson I’m sharing today is relevant to my blogging journey.
The Back Story
In multiple places on this blog you can pretty much figure out that writing has always been a passion of mine. If you read my about me page, or the 20 facts about me post, I mention my love for writing. Even as a young child, I practiced writing in non academic forms. I wrote poems, short stories and made my younger siblings act out the plays I wrote with me. In middle school, I joined the Power of the Pen team. Yes…I was that type of kid in school. Went to competitive writing competitions and everything.
So basically what I’m saying is writing was my jam. I thought I was a good writer; not great but good. At times, I’d compare myself to the others on the team that always won their rounds, and that shook my confidence a bit. I maintained that I was skilled at writing. Perhaps, better than most.
I excelled in school. Took high school classes in middle school and was offered to take college courses in high school. A C in seventh grade math meant a flood of tears. Academics was super important to me. I wasn’t the smartest of those in my classes, but I deserved to be among them. In college, ya girl thought she was hot sh*t. Again, testing out of basic foreign language classes and skipping right to intermediate French. Mastering the skills needed for the basic English course and skipping to the second level. It was here that I learned the lesson I’ll never forget.
Wuille Taught Me
Because I’d gotten so used to skipping ahead on courses, I became overly confident. My English professor was the coolest guy. Dr. Wuille. I’ll never forget him because he taught me a lesson that I apply to more than just my skill as a writer. I don’t remember the exact topic of this paper I had to write for him, but I vaguely remember it being about my relationship. I went in for a meeting with Dr. Wuille and he had basically graffitied my paper in red. Distraught doesn’t even begin to describe how I felt. Other than a few grammatical or structure errors, I was not used to seeing anything I’d ever written look like that. I don’t remember when he said it, or what part of my paper was referring to, I only remember what he said.
I was whaaaat? Am I not supposed to try hard? He explained more and said I basically wrote a bunch of bull that didn’t get to the point of my paper. When I tell you I was shooketh, I can literally remember a mouth drop. He pretty much demolished the structure of what I thought writing should be. It was always the more the merrier and stretch it out as much as you can. Dr. Wuille was like yeah no keep it simple, you are just doing way too much. He ended up teaching me a method for writing that I took with me through my whole college career and that I still apply to this day.
Why I’ll Never Forget It
Essentially, he meant to get to the point. I was trying too hard. I was trying to show that I was a great writer instead of just being a great writer. He taught me that sometimes less is more. Tons of people taught to me write before this point in my academic career, but it wasn’t until Dr. Wuille, that my writing became what I knew it could always be.
The lesson he taught stood out because he practically crushed my inflated writing ego. I thought I was it, ok! I just knew I was one of the better writers in his class. It might’ve been true, but I think what really made me a better writer was listening to his feedback and applying it.
I learned that while effort is good sometimes trying too hard keeps you from being great. I will never forget it. His lesson influenced the blogger I am, and the blogger I aspire to be going forward. Thank you Dr. Wuille.