You are a Writer

you are a writer

 

“Kim, could I see you before you go, please?” my teacher requested, as I was packing up my books along with the rest of the class.

 

We were just a few weeks into Critical Thinking, a required inaugural course. I was dipping my toes back into the beloved waters of learning, beginning college a course at a time as a thirty-something, full-time employee and married mother of two.

“Sure” I responded casually, all the while wondering nervously what I might have missed or had done wrong.

 

We were studying and doing a fair amount of writing around Plato, and it was difficult, especially since I had been out of school for over ten years. While my favorite subjects had been English and History, I struggled with what I considered the ponderous and deep thinking classes.

After the last straggler had wandered out of the room, Nick turned to me with an amiable smile and began to ask about my academic background, especially in regards to what subjects had I enjoyed and done well in at high school. Puzzled, I answered him as best I could.

 

He asked, with apologies, why I had never gone to college. I shared the story of my non-guidance counselor, and Nick was appropriately appalled.

He then inquired about my writing. Had I ever had any instruction? Did I enjoy it?

Still not sure where this was going, I responded with some hesitation.

Yes, I enjoyed writing. It didn’t come very easily, though and tended to take a very long time.

 

I did not share the time in elementary school where we were required to write a short story, and I was absolutely panicked because I had NO ideas at all. Fortunately, my older brother was a real creative type and had penned  a short story at home about spiders (?), which I appropriated, tweaked, and handed in as my own. Not my proudest moment, certainly, and the only time I can remember cheating at school. My apologies, big brother Jeff.

 

Finally, my instructor got to his point: Kim, you are a writer. I can’t believe your counselor led you so poorly astray. I think you should consider working at that and developing your talents further. Have you ever considered doing something with your writing because you write very well.

 

“What? A writer?” I was sure I had misunderstood him. “Me?”

 

Writers are talented, and can, well, write.

While I did love to put pen to paper, I didn’t consider myself a Writer, even though I had actually put together a childcare guide for parents a few years previously. After a small and local enthusiastic response,  lack of confidence reared its all too familiar head, and I never went anywhere with the book. The unsold copies and my writing were packed away into the closet, out of sight and out of mind.

 

Nick reaffirmed his belief in my abilities and encouraged me to work at them.

I left the classroom that day on a cloud, amazed that a teacher thought I could write well, and ought to be sharing my talent with the world.

Although a couple of decades have passed since that brief conversation, it is still fresh in my mind and has the power to bring tears to my eyes.

 

“Really? I’m a writer?”

 

To be encouraged is one of the greatest gifts we can give and receive. (Click here to tweet this!)

I have finally reached a place where, yes, I do consider myself a writer, although there is still so much to learn and areas in which to improve.

Thank you, teach, for seeing the possibilities in me and encouraging me to develop them, however belatedly I took those lessons to heart.

 

Question: How have you encouraged a student lately? Was there a memorable moment you were encouraged, whether as a youth or an adult? Jump in, share in the comments, and encourage one another! Thanks so much for being here.

 

I am sharing today over at SITS Girls, where they are having a Fall Back into Blogging event. Today’s prompt is to share a great school story.

Sharing as well at NOBH, Better Mom, Finding Heaven, Things I Can’t Say

 

Photo: Joel Montes

 

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Comments

  1. Kim, You *are* a writer! One of many examples was this very post today, which pulled me into your story and had me holding on until the end. It’s amazing what a simple word of encouragement can do for each of us. It’s also one of your gifts! Combined with your writing, they make a wonderful, powerful mission and calling.
    Blessings,
    Ann
    Dr. Ann recently posted…How You Can Connect Even Better (In The Middle Of Conflict)My Profile

    • And you, dear Dr. Ann, are a master at encouragement and a fine writer as well. Thank you so much. I am always encouraged by your words!

  2. This is a great school story. And you ARE a writer! Encouragement means a LOT!
    ilene recently posted…The WalkMy Profile

    • Thanks, Ilene. I am just blushing from your continuing kind words! I was encouraged by your featured post for SITS Girls. As you can see, I joined with them. I figured if you liked them, I would too! <3

  3. I love this so much. It is such a precious thing to be encouraged.

    I had one teacher who told me I could write, but unfortunately it was soon after that I had to stop going to school. Now that I am writing and blogging and learning to dream big, I think back on that one conversation and feel thankful. She definitely planted a seed in my mind that is now coming to fruition.
    Tracie recently posted…School Memories – Fall Back Into BloggingMy Profile

    • Tracie, that is wonderful to have had a teacher encourage you in your writing! Isn’t it wondrous how such a small seed can bear such amazing fruit?! Thanks for coming by!

  4. Glad you linked up to SITS today.

    I’m afraid you have a lot to say to me…

    I’ll try to get back soon.
    Maggie S. recently posted…SchoolMy Profile

  5. You are without a doubt a writer! Great memory!!
    adrienne recently posted…100 things your kids need to hear!My Profile

    • Thanks for stopping by, Adrienne, and for your kind words. Your list of 100 things is terrific. Moms ought to be printing it out as a cheat sheet when they are tired and could use a little prompting!

  6. Isn’t it amazing how influential our “teachers” and mentors are when they point out the talents and gifts that they see in us?! Honestly, I’ve not had too many people be this encouraging about my writing talents, but when they do, I always remember it and it motivates me a thousand fold. So often we miss the power of the spoken word to encourage, Kim. I’m so glad you shared this story. It gets my “encouraging juices” flowing … who can I encourage in that way?! Thanks so much for this nudge!

    • I am embarrassed to say that I do miss opportunities to be encouraging, Beth. One really memorable time was when I responded without thinking to an idea my youngest proposed. Rather than being encouraging, I went right for the “what could go wrong” angle. She stood and listened to me, and when I finished, she flatly replied, “Thanks for emptying my bucket, mom.” Ouch.

      Thanks, and I’m glad you found encouragement here. I am tickled to see you here, and I think your writing on marriage is terrific!

  7. Love this, Kim. Isn’t it amazing how the words of the adults in our lives can shape us? So glad you had somebody who believed in you! (I’m guessing you’ve read Jeff Goins’ book, You Are A Writer)

    I have a nephew with special needs who started kindergarten this year. He has some deficiencies that will take some extra care, but we’re careful to speak success over him. Kids believe what we say. Thanks for that reminder!
    Susan Stilwell recently posted…A Monday Pause ~ JerusalemMy Profile

    • Actually, I have the book but I have not yet read it. I still have too many in the queue. :-)

      Your nephew is a fortunate young man to have such loving relatives. Kids do believe what we say, whether said in love or in anger. :-(

      Thanks for coming on over from your wonderfully uplifting space and sharing your thoughts!

  8. Nice story! My English teacher in HS made me decide to major in English in College, now I am a writer too! Well done!
    Cynthia recently posted…Listening To The SeasonsMy Profile

    • That is a great story, Cynthia! Is he still around so you could thank him? What a blessing it would be for him to know how his encouragement helped you. Thanks for sharing!

  9. What a great encouragement! It’s nice to have someone believe in you like that.
    Rach (DonutsMama) recently posted…Fourth Grade FlashbackMy Profile

    • It is nice, Rach. That begs the question, of course, of what we can each do today to encourage someone else. I appreciate you stopping by!

  10. You’re great! Stop hiding that talent under the bushel! ;)
    William recently posted…Why Inflation Has Become a Real Threat NowMy Profile

  11. What an encouraging post! At our last local writers group we discussed our motivation for writing and shared a little of our stories. I was amazed at how many mentioned a teacher recognizing their natural ability and providing encouragement. very powerful stuff. I am an RN and in an English class in college I had the same things happen to me as you did. Asked to stay after class and the teacher told me if I ever wanted/needed to change majors please consider English and come see him. Never have forgotten that. You brought back a neat memory for me today. Thanks!
    Jean Wise recently posted…Ever Hear of Michaelmas?My Profile

    • Oh, that is so sweet, Jean. It still amazes me how such a small bit of encouragement can help plant a seed of hope. I have to wonder how many other stories there are out there, and do the encouragers know how much of a difference they made?

  12. Yes, Kim, you are most definitely a writer…Funny, I was thinking of you yesterday (seriously), and how I missed visiting your blog, and then you showed up at my blog before I could visit you :) So glad your teacher encouraged you, and you are blogging, and we met :) I think you would really be encouraged by my interview with Jeff Goins…keep writing, please :)
    Dolly recently posted…An Interview with Jeff Goins, author of WRECKED, & GIVEAWAYMy Profile

    • I am so very glad to be blogging, too, Dolly, and so glad to have met you as well. I really enjoyed Jeff’s book Wrecked. There is a lot to think about in there, especially the why of our volunteering and giving. I will definitely keep writing, and look forward to your interview with Jeff. Thanks for your dear comments, and all the smiles you shared, too!

  13. Thanks for the inspirational thoughts! I am wanting to get started on my first book!
    Brandie recently posted…Time Flies…My Profile

  14. Kim, what a great story, and hooray for teachers that give an extra word! I tell my girls–(my boys too, but I REALLY don’t know how much they take away LOL!) You have no idea the power of your words. You are a great writer, and I’m so glad you’ve chosen the blog media to do it– so we can get the rewards!
    Auntie Em recently posted…I Can Do All ThingsMy Profile

    • I never had boys, but I will bet they take in more than you realize. I know my girls did! :-)
      You are a wise mom to share those powerful words with them, nonetheless. Thanks for your sweet remarks-always glad to see you!

  15. There really is nothing better than being encouraged. It can change your whole outlook on things. a college professor encouraged me and to this day I still think of her. Stoppying by from PYHO
    Julia recently posted…Minding My ManorsMy Profile

    • That is so sweet that you still remember the encouragement of a college professor. It certainly gives us the nudge to encourage others! Thanks so much for sharing, Julia!

  16. Sometimes it just takes one person believing in us to really make a difference.
    Shell recently posted…Pour Your Heart Out: Seeing a DifferenceMy Profile

    • Absolutely, Shell. I have no doubt your son feels that now and will remember you being in his corner long after he moves into adulthood! Thanks for coming by.

  17. Beautiful story. Thanks for sharing.

    Many people have told me they enjoy my writing. There is one comment that stands out for me. Shortly after I started blogging I ran into a neighbor. He said he was reading my blog. He said, “You can write. I mean, you can really write.” It was surprised and full of heart and energy. It made my day. I lived off that compliment for a long time. It still brings a smile. Thanks for reminding me of it.

    Best wishes in your continued writing efforts. Stopping by from SITS. Have a great day.
    misssrobin recently posted…Today is a Down DayMy Profile

    • What an especially sweet neighbor! Not only was he reading your blog, he took the time to tell you how wonderful he thought it was!
      I hear you on living off those kind of compliments. We are able to eke a lot of mileage out of them. :-)
      Thanks for your encouragement and for popping on over from SITS. What a nice group of gals there!

  18. What a geat post; I enjoyed reading it today. I would say you are a very engaging and talented writer. I enjoy reading your thoughts. To give someone encouragement is truly a gift. In my own life experience I have tried to give encouragement to the efforts of my children and others. I know that when I have been encouraged by someone it can certainly lift my spirit higher.
    Blessings to you!

    • Hi LeAnn, so nice to see you! Your children will remember and cherish your encouragement, I have no doubt. Thanks for your sweet comments and for dropping by!

  19. I love the power of encouragement. It makes me sad to think of children and even adults who have never been encouraged in their gifts. Such a great reminder to encourage everyone we notice a gift in. Great personal story. Thanks for sharing :)

  20. Wait…not my spider story!!! ;)

  21. Kind of late to be finding this but so glad I did…and even later to be starting to write but glad someone encouraged ME! My husband has been trying to get me to “step out of the boat” for years but I never had the confidence. I was a happy wife, mother, pastor’s wife and most recently missionary wife. I had no trouble speaking but the only writing I did was the church bulletin :) Then a few months ago because of some serious health issues that brought us back to the States and put me flat on my back, the Lord literally spoke to me, though not audibly, it was just as clear, I knew I had heard His voice to start a blog for the hurting, hopeless, and even the chronically ill. It’s not a depressing blog by any means I have fun with it too. But no sooner had I started but a lovely “real” writer befriended me and told me I needed to be seen in a “bigger arena”. I’m only sharing this Kim because of your post, it has blessed me so! Encouraging words mean so much! She sent my story to another website that agreed with her and put me on staff and all I could keep repeating to myself was what you were saying, “I’m a writer?!” In three weeks I was a writer? No, God knew He still had a ministry for me even when I couldn’t be on my feet and halfway around the world. He made a way. Thank you for such a wonderful article. A real blessing and wonderful reminder of how important an encouraging word can make a difference in our lives.
    Blessings,
    nannette ♥

  22. Isn’t it amazing how one conversation can have such an impact on us?

    Kim, you are always so engaged and positive online. Excited to be in the writing group together and to get to know you more!
    Amy Sullivan recently posted…#ServeChatMy Profile

  23. Yes, it is Amy. I am reminded of that as I watch my adult daughters and especially as i watch my 6 month old granddaughter soak in everything!
    Thanks for your sweet words. I am looking forward to getting to know you better. I went noodling around your site an Pinterest boards. Terrific content!

  24. Kim, I too have a sort of ‘non counselor’ only mine was in the form of an English teacher. First she refused to allow me in her advanced placement class. Three students scored the same on the entrance test for the last two of the limited seats. She allowed the other two students in then told me “there is no way in hell you will ever make it as an English teacher (my dream job) anyway.” After that I more or less gave up on education. I did just enough work to graduate high school and never went on to college. Thankfully God had other plans for me. I may not be teaching kids how to diagram a sentence or the right tense to use but I am teaching. I am teaching a wonderful group of ladies from the greatest book of all.

    Sorry I rambled on but I love your story. To see God’s hand lead and guide you a beautiful thing.
    Amy P Boyd recently posted…Exploring My Writing StoryMy Profile

    • What a terrific story, Amy! Those words can sting so much when they are thrown so carelessly at tender young hearts. However, we can’t always see the better path ahead we will be taking instead. I’m so glad you are teaching. I imagine the women you help are blessed indeed. Thanks so much for sharing!

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