First I would like to say, oh my goodness, I am ecstatic to see that Jose wrote his blog post about fear and fear of writing because I would have thought I was the only one feeling this way throughout the semester! Even up until now I could have written a blog post about my fear, but ironically my fear of writing stopped me from doing so! Jose, if you are reading this, you are so brave for opening up about it.
Throughout the semester, Dr. McCoy has encouraged us all to think beyond our limits and explore correlations between ideas that we may ordinarily over look. I think this concept went over my head at first because I began looking for some abstract correlations to tie into the readings that did not make much sense to me. It was not until I started drawing my own real-world correlation that I was able to see exactly the type of thinkING, she wanted me to explore. It was not writing blog posts about what I thought SHE would find interesting, she wanted me to write about things that I found interesting, and that made all the difference.
As Jose stated in his blog post, Dr. McCoy has emphasized the importance of practice throughout the semester. Practice has become the sole, most dynamic factor for the improvement of my writing. The place where I struggled this semester was the fear of practice. Blog posts were made to express ideas to the class and to gain practice doing inter-disciplinary writing. Before this course I had a history professor who harshly critiqued my writing at any instance of free-thought. When I came into English 101, I carried this fear of producing “bad writing” that would land me in a compromising position when it came to my grade. I would relate this to Schaffa breaking Damaya’s hand and threatening to do whatever is necessary so that she submits. He conditioned her to fear him so much so that even when she transitioned into a new faze in her life, she still felt the twitch of fear in her hand as a reminder that she is not free.
Soon after taking this class, I realized two things. The first was that, I am not a bad writer, I make mistakes, but that is natural in growth. The second was that I had not previously taken the time to consider the things I was writing or to think about how they related to life concepts, in other words, I never reflected on my personal thoughts when writing. While I hold accountability for my choices in writing, I do wish that I had taken this course earlier in my academic career because I feel like it would have dispelled some of the fears that I came into this semester still holding on to.
This leads me to address Jose’s last point. Dr. McCoy’s statement, “we can’t escape risk, we can only mitigate it,” holds true for me also. The best way to mitigate risk in my eyes is to open up about it. Reading a blog post that highlighted some of the same fears that I was facing made it clear that I am not alone in my struggle to improve my writing and comprehension skills and while I was growing, other classmates were growing with me. Jemisin changes the main character of her books many times throughout the trilogy, but all in all, they are the same person, just evolved and more experienced, less afraid. From this class, I now seek any opportunity to grow within myself and to mitigate my fears by transcending the lines of fear that I usually face and practicing in areas that I can improve.