By: Katie Quigley
From the day I could articulate a complete sentence, I was inspired to write. Because of the fact that my Aunt Liz, who doubles as an English teacher, lived in my house while I was growing up, I had learned the basics of writing before I hit preschool. I remember Liz showing me how to use a comma, how to show possession with an apostrophe, and how to effectively use an exclamation point. Needless to say, I was given a fantastic foundation. As time went on, more and more people entered my life and gave me the fuel I needed to write my very best. I still have a folder on my Google Docs account that I refer to almost every time I write an essay; the folder is strictly documents composed by my seventh-grade civics teacher, Mr. Kotlewski. These documents cover everything I would ever need to compose an adequate essay- attention getters, thesis statements, transition words, and conclusions. Up until seventh grade, I understood that I enjoyed writing. It wasn’t anything I took too seriously until I met Mrs. Holzer, my eighth grade English teacher. Before eighth grade, I had never experienced the feeling of pure joy when I got to a classroom. I ranked my classes on a pretty constricted scale: they were either tolerable or intolerable. However, I can’t think of a day that I was not truly excited to hear Mrs. Holzer talk about writing. She opened my eyes to the aspects of writing and literature that I had never seen before. Without her class, I would have never joined The Caldron as a freshman.
Personally, I feel like the best thing about writing is that it allows you to take the negative thoughts you may be having and form them into something beautiful on paper. Writing your thoughts frees them from spinning around in your head. I always feel a strange sense of peace after I finish writing. Laying the negative to rest makes room for the positive.
Because writing is such a broad topic, I feel like there is no way to fully master being a writer. There are so many things to learn, and that is what I love about it. There will never be a point where I have completely maximized my knowledge on becoming a good writer. Each school year, my English class opens my eyes to new ways of writing that I had never thought of beforehand. I think it’s important to always be learning, especially when it comes to what you enjoy the most.
Over the years, writing has made me feel a plethora of emotions. The day that Mr. Kotlewski used the opening paragraph that I had written as an example for the rest of my class is a day I’ve always been able to smile about. Being stopped by teachers and faculty in the hallway who tell me they read what I write on The Caldron always makes me feel especially happy. However, there are also days that I feel like I shouldn’t enjoy writing as much as I do. Getting a C on a paper that I worked on for weeks is not exactly a confidence booster. Getting declined from other online publications has made me want to quit. However, I have learned that all of these moments are lessons. Being complimented on my writing has taught me that working hard pays off. In contrast, I have learned that getting a less-than-satisfactory grade on a paper does not mean that it was terrible; it means that there are parts of my writing that just need to become stronger. Being turned away after spending time on a piece means that it was not what they were looking for at that time. Writing has taught me so much, and I am thankful for the people I have had the pleasure of meeting who have kept me motivated; I can’t even imagine who I will come across in the years to come.