Adaijah WilliamsMy novelIn the tenth-grade I have came across a english class that in a way makes me cringe with hostility, but yet the vocabulary and a message that was manifested by a wonderful professor who has built the tolerance that I don’t think I’d have learned if not for those short stories that were assigned by her. But there was then a final short story that was appointed to the class and I’m pretty sure that no first draft of that assignment was required, or, if it was, I’m pretty sure I managed to somehow get out of it.

But still the story received a grade of an “A”. And I think I wrote it all in one day, or should I say a few hours. So my process, whatever it was, was set fairly early on in the day.

In those years of my writing obsession, I was sure I wanted to write short stories “when I grew up”. And I tried a little at a time, but a regular habit of writing never took hold on me. I think myself as a writer did yet settle with myself. Surely this was fueled by the fact that my written work for school was well received. And that being the case, I think I also decided that being a writer must not take much time, you just have to have an imagination and the patience to take the time and write.

As I continued through high school, this was certainly the norm for me. An exception was a senior-year creative-writing class that had daily journal entries as a requirement. This didn’t lead to me continuing a journal once the semester ended, nor did it lead to more regular writing of any sort for me. But the idea of writing and thinking about it does make me wonder about what might have happened if the habit of me regularly writing had been ingrained in my head, I may have been a much more successful writer in comparison to my pairs or classmates.My own habits changed little by little as I proceeded through college; early drafts were still rarely fully complete for me. I procrastinated a lot and my early drafts or rough drafts were appeared to be the roughest of them all.

My intentions to the class was not an eagor attitude to do the best work. I encountered a class or two requiring frequent short response papers, but neither of those classes really gave me much of a hassle. On the other hand, a creative-writing class I took in my junior year transformed my writing skills into a more developed writer that then made me successful in a lot of my work.

We were really only required to attend the class, listen, take notes and the most of them all, write. Our professor was an American woman who had published one or two critically well-regarded novels while living in Paris in the late 1960s. She was a fascinating and amusing women and her rambling diatribes to us on every conceivable topic surely taught us things about life that are integral to writing, but actual mandatory written product from students was in short supply. Sometimes brief exercises during the semester were life changing in my opinion. It turned out really well, once all students buy into the plan and the lesson that she is trying to deliver, everything transitions smoothly onto paper. I looked at her as a Picasso writer, she informed on and key points to being successful with writing. We were given a final short story of some sort to complete in class.

I submitted about five pages written, as usual, during the twelve-hour period prior to the final class session. When my grades for the semester arrived, I discovered that I had be given an “E” in the course. The “E” has then caused a hand full of confusion. What is an E?  Does it stand for , “Excellent”? No, it turned out that this meant the instructor hadn’t submitted their final grades for the class on time.

I stopped into the English department office at the beginning of the next term to find out what grade I’d actually received in the course.  And I later found the secretary scurrying back and forth, checking on grades for other “E” students like me. She asked which course I was curious about. When I told her, she hadn’t even looked at the grade book, but yet had a response. “Oh, everyone got an ‘A’ in that class,” she said. So that was how it turned out. I immediately signed up for the second half of the two-semester course. The second term turned out to be no more compelling than the first.

It helped my grade-point average but not, I think, my writing skills. Behind all of the humor of my all-nighter tales and stressful nights of editing, there are some serious questions that are still unclear to myself. Would my writing have improved if I’d been in the habit of writing clear drafts, not just one hurried version, of my papers? If so, how much would my work have improved? And what difference does it make at all, if my technique actually seemed to work to my teacher? It does make a difference to me, not only because those nights without sleep often seemed never ending, but also because I would like to be a better writer, and I’d like to see others become better writers.

Those moments of “desperation or inspiration” is what harvested the birth to many of my last-minute papers. But the road of “much more writing, much more editing” is one I haven’t traveled much, and so it interests me perhaps most of all of if I actually took the time to do these things I would really be labelled a much better writer. Maybe a born writer will automatically write obsessively, every day, from an early age. If so, I wasn’t born into this. I wonder if it might be a good idea to have students write and revise much more frequently, this will scrape away many errors and mispunctuation to many stories or papers.

I wasn’t always a last minute writer, but on the other hand, in middle school I had much more structure when it came to staying on point from grades, to most of all writing. At my school writing was its own subject so therefore we would always just sit in class and write. This made me more creative and artistic. I went from writing fiction stories, to autobiographies, to even writing poetry. At that point I felt that I had an advantage when going to into high school, but the total opposite happened. When I got to high school I started off to a great start. We didn’t start actually having to write until the third quarter. Which then effected my techniques because I hadn’t wrote any stories since the last school year, I wasn’t as interested in story writing for class now.

That’s when I begin to get lazy, and  the hurried essays began. The teacher would give me a due date and I’d literally procrastinate till the day before it was due,  now that then leads to  me stressing about what to type, where instead I could have been done three full weeks ago. Don’t get me wrong I still made sure I wrote a good paper for that A+ , but it wasn’t the creative and diverse me. Instead it was a, I’ll get this work done, and do enough that would match another student.

This has always been a problem with me, procrastination. All the way up till this day i’m sti ll that lazy writer and I’m always waiting till last minute to write. I will sit and stare at a blank piece of paper for hours then I will come up with an excuse to do something else. I hate that I have this type of mindset because I know when I get to college i’m not gonna be able to get away with this as I would have in high school. This novel taught me for the next 6 months of my high school life I will take advantage and get my writing skills back, so once I hit college there wont be no rushed essays just all work i’ve patently done. In conclusion, this leads me to say, to whoever may be viewing or reading this, take your time with your work. Put your time and energy into your work because we never know our full potential until we actually try.

If we don’t try we could never know our capability, ever. I waited last minute to do most of my work all high school, sleeping and setting alarms for hours prior to the class to do the assignment. This caused stress in my life, and this stress led to me losing sleep and losing friends because the free time I did have, I spent sleeping. Work can be a lot more then work sometimes, this is why I stress that procrastination is something that we all should try and avoid.

Stay on top of your work, I am sure you would like the outcome and final draft after knowing how much work, time, and energy you put into something, it feels rewarding. Its something no one can take from you because it’s your work that you took the time to do. Be confident of your capabilities and just sit breath, and write.  

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