... That he or she, in particular, is a strong writer? Lately I have been asking myself that question ever since I began to take English classes again in school in alternate of my social studies class, especially because of something that did happen during my absence from school on Friday. (I was at a book competition-- our team won second place, just one question behind the winning team! Well, there's always next year.)
When I arrived into school today, I was looking for my name on the board to see which Shakespeare comedy the teachers of the learning community I am attending have placed me in. Something that I saw was the desks were aligned in a square, facing the center of the room, with rows contained within its shape.
Something you should know about my teacher is that he is like a sixteen-year-old with his soul stuff in a middle age body. He is more of the sort to do pods, just as I had last seen the desk, so when this sight came to me I said, "Whoa... What happened here?"
Some juniors and seniors said things like, "Oh, it's you," "Look at the board for you name to see which Shakespeare reading your are in," "We did things on Friday." One of them said, "The teacher was talking about you last week."
"What? When?" This was my initial thought. When the teachers speak about me, I tend to be spoken of in a positive light, but I always assume it is something bad. That's been how I think for more than five years, and that reaction is still going strong to this day.
"On Friday. Something about your essay--"
"Being a strong writer--"
"And how it was the best ones he's read in a long time since he's taught here--"
"Or something like that," they murmured simultaneously. The juniors all nodded each other in assent and went off into their own world afterward. As some of my friends entered in the classroom, I scurried and asked whether this occurred on Friday. My friends admitted it was true.
Some people, reading this, might think I sound arrogant, but if it comes off like that, I'm really not. The action I took after hearing those words is quite the opposite of arrogance; I hid under a desk for about two minutes during passing time. Earlier in the semester everyone was required to write a reflection essay about any particular topic that our mind wishes. I know I'm not the strongest writer out there in the world, and there is tons of room for improvement. I love reading books-- I always have, and always will-- but to end up being in the same ranks as Riordan, Rowling, Lewis, Tolkien, Lu, or anyone else in that matter, ya da ya da ya da-- it is very hard to place a grown up version of myself in that light.
If I somehow manage to become published and a successful author, and when my blog is revealed to the rest of the world's population, I could imagine my teachers and all of the other people who have read my writing point a finger as a six-year-old would, kicking their dangling legs from their chairs, and say, "Ha! I told you so."
Now, back to the question of the post: how can one know he or she is a strong writer? There is an aspect of writing that I've been taught every year called Voice. It's either something that you have or don't have, and in all of my years writing for school, I have been told to have this aspect. I can't hear my Voice in my writing.
Can authors hear their own Voice in writing? Can you hear my Voice? Questions like these have always boggled my mind more than the meaning of life has. Sorry for the rant; I just wish to know.
Tell me what you think:
What makes a strong writer a strong writer? Do you have Voice?