By Emely Guerrero—
Techniques can only take you so far.
Many of us believe we are not top-notch writers. Everyone doubts their work occasionally. All it takes is practice and having confidence in ourselves and our writing.
Confidence can be a game changer. I’ve recently been struggling with writing. When I was in the second grade, my teacher would make us write every week. The class would be assigned to write a story and draw little pictures illustrating it. I liked drawing and writing, so it wasn’t an issue for me. Then every Friday we would have to read the story aloud and present the pictures we drew. I remember she would always tell me how good my stories were. Once she even had the class across the hall (who were fifth graders by the way) join us to listen to some stories. She chose little old me to read my story to them. I remember feeling like wow I’m actually good. She wants me to share my story with fifth graders. She made me believe in myself and my writing.
Now I feel it’s the opposite. I tend to get in my own way. As I got older, I felt a lot of the papers I was writing weren’t that great. I wasn’t proud of them. I remember this started the year after, in third grade. I would write papers and wouldn’t receive the encouragement and feedback I used to get the previous year. My 3rd grade teacher just graded our papers and wouldn’t say anything. So, I started to think maybe I’m not so good. I was struggling to find motivation to finish my papers, and it wasn’t something I enjoyed anymore. As the years went on, I still felt this way—I felt mediocre. Having more confidence in my writing the last couple of years could have really helped.
Laziness stems from lack of confidence. When we feel we’re not good at something we don’t pursue it or want to do it. If you’re not good at basketball you’re not going to try out for the basketball team. The same goes with writing. I find myself getting lazy when writing conclusions. I struggle with concluding my thoughts without repeating what I have previously said. Most papers I’ve had to write I will knock the intro and body paragraphs out and then I’ll get stuck. You don’t want to type a great essay and then have your conclusion be the downfall of it all.
Teachers and professors will teach writing techniques and formats, but they won’t teach you about confidence. Techniques can only take you so far. The root of the problem is that many of us are afraid to write anything down because we fear we’re not good enough. None of my past teachers ever mentioned this to me so this has really been eye opening. I don’t think teachers realize this because it is not talked about. There needs to be more conversations about this because so many people struggle with writing. As for laziness with writing my conclusions, I have been told to reword what I have said earlier in my paper which sometimes helps and doesn’t other times.
Teachers should have at least one lesson targeted to building up self-esteem. They should engage with the students and hear out their frustrations with writing and try to come up with a solution to make it easier for them. I also feel teachers should encourage their students more, especially those who teach young children. This way when they are in college, they don’t feel intimidated in English class. With students who are lazy at writing I think it is important to find out why. In most cases it is probably because they don’t feel they are good enough. So being patient and motivating them is important as well. But for me as I mentioned I get writers block at the end. I think a good way to avoid this is to present a new idea in your conclusion that relates to your topic. This way it doesn’t feel repetitive and it is easier to tackle the last paragraph.