So, I’m taking a short break from writing because of work and school. This session, I’m taking American Lit (blech) and The Art of the Essay (required for English/Professional Writing majors). I was not thrilled to be taking the class, as I’m really more into fiction writing than anything, but it hasn’t been so bad. We’ve read a few interesting selections, including “How it Feels to be Colored Me,” by Zora Neale Hurston, whom I’ve never read before. (No, not even Their Eyes Were Watching God. But guess what’s on my Kindle now…)
Obviously, we have writing assignments every week in this class. The normal, literary analysis-type assignments I don’t stress about, but a few weeks ago, the assignment was to write a short essay, emulating the style of one of the writers we’d covered. Suggestions for topics included issues in popular culture and natural disasters. My Muse grabbed onto that idea, and since I’ve lived near New Orleans, naturally Hurricane Katrina was my topic of choice.
So, I wrote my short essay about two brothers who didn’t evacuate before the storm, and who are now trapped in their house, listening to nature rage outside. I was pretty happy with the essay, but completely unsure what the professor would think of it. I’ve been waiting for the grade for two weeks, and I finally got it back.
I made a fantastic grade, which is awesome, but the professor’s feedback was even better. He said, “My goodness this is great. Homerun! What a terrific writer we have amongst us. Again, you have a unique ear–an ear that all great writers need to have. Nice pitch, tone, vocab decisions. Impressive. ” And, also, “Wow! impressive opening. You really have an ear for narrative voicings.”
Obviously, I’m happy with the grade, but the encouragement I got from the professor’s comments is even more valuable to me. I’m totally inspired now!