The Next Level

Writing is similar to exercise. Exert yourself all you wish, but there comes a time when your success plateaus. But if you vary the routine and go a little outside of the box, the sky is the limit. For passionate writers I believe this concept is the same. If you never take the chance to learn new things, push yourself to new heights, the creativity and skill is stagnant. Though still beautifully constructed, all authors know that novels can always be improved, writing can always be better. After all, in the words of Gene Fowler: a book is never finished; it’s abandoned. A true writer should always become better in their field, as should any individual in any profession. And well, as a student of an Advanced Placement English 11 class, I have chosen to better myself.

Yet improvement also costs.

My class of 12 took our first test on Friday, which was over our summer reading assignment The Grapes of Wrath. My test grades in English are rarely below an 89%, and normally higher. I knew I had not done excellent on this AP test, but I was surprised to find that my score was at a percentage of 55.

But it was alright. I had taken this class knowing that my writing would get butchered with bright red stains and that my knowledge and skill used in my Honors class last year would not be enough. This was the real deal: a combination of English 11 Honors, English 12 Honors, and a college level course. I wasn’t going to be the smart kid anymore. And I was fine with that, because I wanted to improve so badly. I wanted to the best at what I do (though I know that is impossible), even if it meant barely passing the class so that I could learn from my mistakes.

And that’s the best part. The most exciting. First day of class we went over a three page syllabus, and I had to keep from smiling because I was so excited to have my work butchered and to really have a difficult time. What a nerd, right? But I love it. I love getting better. English is my greatest ambition, and I will take whatever I can get so long as I learn something from it.

After all, you can’t get better without failing. And you know, as odd as it sounds, I think failing is the best part about writing, so long as you never stop trying, never stop learning.

I’ve got a lot to do this year, and plenty more to learn. (I’ll be voting for the next President, too!) So for now folks, I’m on my way to a better me. 🙂

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