I am always on the hunt for signs telling me I am doing or not doing the right things in life. Sure, I have my stomach that usually will drop into my feet when I am venturing into a bad deal. But, when a move isn’t totally right or wrong for me, my stomach doesn’t react. I am left to look for other ways of reassuring myself that I am fine.

This week in grad school, I had to take a creative writing evaluation test. I basically failed. First, I didn’t listen to my gut. I over analyzed questions and instead of relying on my instinct, I tried to reason the question out. Secondly, I do things on instinct. I may not know the correct terminology; but I know how the terms act in writing because they are natural to me.

Needless to say, I was ready to throw in the towel with grad school because I felt so ill prepared.

I talked to one of my friends and she pointed out I was the same way with teaching. I didn’t know the proper terminology for teaching; I just felt what needed to be done.

I also started thinking about my undergrad training. I took mostly Lit classes and Education classes. At my community college, I took a Creative Writing class. It was a joke class. We just wrote in different genres. We never really looked at our writing and we certainly never discussed theories of writing.

Until now, I have been surviving on raw talent and what I have picked up in random books.

I felt a bit better when I got home. I’m not quitting grad school because I know I am in a place where I can learn to be a better writer. It isn’t about things being right or wrong in my writing; it’s about using what will fit into my writing style and make me a better writer. It’s okay for me not to know the terms and theories of writing right now. If, by the end of the semester, I am still having problems like this, it may be time to re-evaluate grad school.

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