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Sponsors of Literacy

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Writers - The Bravest of the Human Race

Writing is intimidating, in that nothing comes out the way it should, even after several

attempts - these hours spent boggling your brain cause the feeling of disbelonging, that this just

is not for you, and by the time you shut yourself completely down to writing, your obvious

surrender causes the grader to splatter the paper you spent hours on with red ink, which is

enough to sink any human deeper into the abyss.

It is not even that writing is particularly hard, it is the matter of everyone has a natural,

gut fear of beginning something they could possibly NOT come out of unscathed.

Psychologically, humans are inclined to stay away from anything that could have them harshly

criticized for their ideals. And from that sickening worry, the paper due next week turns out to be

the monster from under your bed, who has been frightening you since before you knew what

MLA formatting was. Then again, you do have a choice when it comes to your battle against the

monster… and more than likely, once again you can blame your natural instinct for this, you

choose to procrastinate. Saving your strength, to fight another day. Or, if not, just throw yourself

in front of a car, as Lamott condescendingly points out.

However, even if you do not wait until the last possible moment, the “process” is still

overwhelming. There are not written instructions, so the writer is, for all intents and purposes,

walking in completely blind. Fear of the unknown is rational, thus being scatterbrained and

frantic is one of the key characteristics of a writer. Lamott is, once again, a prime example of this

since her process involves going out to eat with loudly opinionated friends several times,

contemplating suicide and giving up on her dreams for her old job, and writing every single word

that comes to mind in hopes of sorting out something beautiful. Even then, as you sit there with

the cursor flashing angrily at you, begging you to finally put something down without pounding

the backspace key immediately afterward, it is daunting that you have failed by your standards

time and time again and still can not force yourself to go on with the paper.

By this time, it is innate to wonder if you are merely an elementary writer after all.

Maybe it is not your place to be writing this, for whatever reason, and you are simply destined to

fail. You do not fit in as a writer, and because of the sickening twist in your gut that every

outcast feels, you give up before you can prove to yourself that you can do it. Everyone has the

capability to be a writer, and in this day and age, sponsorship is easy to find - if it is not already

being forced upon you during school and by your parents. Everyone can sit down and write a

paper, but the mere intimidation and semblance of disbelonging is enough to shut those with the

greatest promise down. Akeelah’s mother’s anecdote during the clip from Akeelah and the Bee

exemplified this, since she sat Akeelah down and told her how she was going to be a Doctor, and

was certainly smart enough to be, yet a disgustingly overwhelming feel of imminent

disbelonging and incapability was enough to get her to drop out. While papers are not the

equivalent of medical school, the same idea obviously applies.

Frustration at giving up on yourself and your paper, though it is your job whether

professionally or scholarly to finish it, is obvious to any teacher or grader. You, as the writer of

this piece that has officially taken up hours of your life, have turned in something destined to be

covered in red ink. Most professors do not pay much mind to what you were trying to get across,

instead focusing on little mishaps… which, since you were frustratingly throwing a tantrum on

your keyboard, make up most of your paper. These bloody scrawls end your personal horror

story, but still leave you broken and angered that the teacher chose to count ten points off for

comma placement and other pitiful mistakes, instead of paying attention to everything good you

put into your work.

From initial fear of the vast unknown to the reverberating feel of despair when all you

can see is red, writing is possibly the scariest thing anyone has to face. Time and time again you

must venture in to the unknown world of figuring out what to write and how to put it down, in

fear of everything you believe in and convey being dissected and pinned down with a red ball

point. Yet, no matter how many times you have to write and rewrite, the process is still

overwhelming and writing remains the most frightening of literary feats.

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