One problem I have in writing is that I tend to go overboard with what I want to get down on paper. As I begin an assignment I will look over the rubric, and the first thing I tend to locate is how the word count is defined. When I started college it was always scary to see a 1000 word minimum posted, but now I find it even worse to see there is a maximum word count. Before starting college I was terrified of writing, however I eventually realized I possessed a decent set of writing skills. My professors praised my achievements, but even then I wondered how it all began. How did I become proficient enough in writing to get an A on that first college paper?
Well, I was trained by a group of people I call my friends, though I have never met many of them. During high school I was a member of several online forums, including one now defunct site, called the Bounty Hunter Collective. This site was essentially my virtual home. When I joined the forum I could hardly type, nor would I ever go back and revise my work. Through many years of belonging to that forum, and a lot of toleration by the membership there, they essentially guided me along, slowly teaching me the basics of writing, while at the same time embracing my obscure attempts at humor.
Additionally, I was able to read thousands of their well thought out posts. This gave me a good handle on how decent writing could be accomplished, and how people can be critical of topics in a good way. The forum also exposed me to how some members could write intriguing stories, like Big Red, a member who frequently shared several pages of his personal experiences. Through these means I was not only reading a lot more material than most people my age, but I was also learning many facets of writing, which would pay dividends later in college.
Once I started my career in higher education, I found a passion for writing essays and term papers. During my high school years I was home schooled, and had never even wrote a full length essay. Likewise when I took the ACT I refrained from taking the written portion because I was so afraid I would be a horrible writer. Now, many years later, I have a minor in creative writing, and have even been nominated for several awards in the same field. I have also penned a main stage play for my first college, and a few professors have even recommended that I try to get some of my short stories and poems published.
It took me years to realize just how ridiculous I was, barely posting in English as a young kid, but I am forever thankful for the support and understanding the members on that site showed me. It was through their guidance I was able to learn to type and to also have a better understanding of sophisticated writing. I may not have known it then, but their efforts to teach me their ways of writing have paid off tremendously. Had it not been for that crew, I would have never been prepared to maintain a 4.0 GPA for 12 semesters, let alone go into communication and creative writing.