I will admit this project has not been easy. It has been a rollercoaster of emotions and trials, taking me through the joys of victory and self-discovery, but also through the pain and frustration of failure and misunderstanding. Before I go any further, I want to thank the members of my writing group, Sarah and Ana, who have stood by me with their kind words and helpful advice, and Cindy, my amazing professor who listened to my frustrations, offered her ideas and opinions, and who set me off on this adventure in the first place. Without the three of you, I do not think this would have been the success that it has become.
I have mentions in previous posts that I am the kind of person who will lay out a story from beginning to end, leaving no detail unmentioned, and carrying on for paragraphs at time. This is extremely helpful when I realize I’ve procrastinated on a paper for class until the last minute and need to whip out something quickly or when I am writing articles or blog posts for work. Granted, rambling on and on has its disadvantages, but as a writer of fiction and extensive essays, it is a necessity. I chose microfiction because I knew it would be a challenge. I knew I would drag myself through it, complaining and miserable all the way, but I knew it would help me grow as a writer. Sometimes we have to be put in a crucible to be purified.
This project drove me to discover not only my own struggles as a writer, but also as a student as well. As a writer, I love my words. I love using as many of them as humanly possible to describe an incident or a person or a situation. Setting a word limit (that I only broke once!) was extremely hard for me. Initially, it drove me nuts. In the long run, however, it taught me the value of word choice. Each word has a unique meaning and can contribute a new aspect to a work. Having to choose my words carefully made me consider writing as very disciplined art, not something to just be thrown about carelessly. As a student, I realized that I have never really struggled in school. I breezed through high school and even some of college with ease. However, this project forced me to look at my own learning habits. Seeing as most of it was self-guided, I had to discern my strengths and my weaknesses. I am a bit of a perfectionist, so seeing weakness in myself was a bit overwhelming at first. I was scared at times and had no idea what to do. Most evenings I spent working on this project were stressful, involving the occasional slamming shut of my computer and rants to my giant sock monkey, Ringo, that were littered with choice language. Poor Ringo. Despite this, though, I learned one thing above all-I need to forgive myself when I falter. I will not always get it on the first try. Most people rarely do. I had to learn that if I fail, I have just learned another way not to do it. It does not mean that I will not succeed. It just means that I am not quite there yet.
Looking at this as a preservice teacher, I consider that this will be what some of my students go through. They will wobble, they will fall, but it is rising again that will make them stronger. Using this project as a base, I intend to further my studies by learning how best to help struggling students overcome their frustrations and succeed in the classroom. As a teacher, I can understand what my students will undoubtedly face. I have posed, I have wobbled, and now I am ready to try my flow.
All thanks to the Unfamiliar Genre Project.