I’m Bad at What?

My new supervisor is kind of a big deal.  As part of this position, and as part of my internship, my colleague and I are expected to do a lot of development and growth exercises while we work in our cool positions.

These exercises have come in the form of really rad assignments, where we interact with really important people and provide support with some mega solutions for our organization.  Schedule and take notes at meetings, think through problems, offer our opinions and become better employees and people.  The assignments I really like are the white papers.  I like to write.  I have done two assignments with a written product.  After the second assignment my supervisor came to me with black, white and red piece of paper.

You need to improve your writing.

Wait what?

For my entire life, I have been under the distinct impression that I’m a great public speaker, a witty story teller, and an excellent writer.  These beliefs are held as a direct result of my past performances:  I was second in the state of PA in the high school speech league, people always giggle at my stories, and I mean shoot, I blog — I can’t be a bad a writer — right?

Wrong.

I’ve been told, recently, in the spirit of growth, development and affection that it is obvious that I like to write, but that I’m not exceptional at it.

After I initially recovered from the news that I am not a good writer, I understood that I had two choices:  skulk, cry, and not take the criticism like an adult OR seize the opportunity to better myself.

I swallowed my pride and immediately signed myself up for 2 intensive courses in writing.  I also pledged to myself that I would do everything to be a better writer: more cogent, well-written blogs, find a writing mentor {like an actual published writer to help me}, and take every opportunity at work to write and write better.

Despite my alleged adult reaction, the news that I am a bad writer was a MAJOR hit my ego.  I have thought a lot about what it means to learn so much about yourself, especially to question the truths that you’ve held about yourself for, well ever.  After a while, I started to heal, I have been asking for help and getting over myself and I’m at peace.  Mostly because I was given the advice about my writing to help me reach my goals and be some effective in my organization and definitely because the person who broke the news to me is someone I trust very much and who is an excellent writer.

Have you ever had to confront the things you’re not awesome at, even when you thought were pretty awesome at them?

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4 thoughts on “I’m Bad at What?

  1. wait, what? huh. I think, yep…I’m pretty darn sure I just wrote about you tonight and one of the things I wrote about was how much I enjoyed your writing. I find this odd, but I am glad you are taking the criticism well (and I hope with a grain of salt).

    This same thing happened to me this week. Except I ASKED for criticism and then was shocked when I got it. I am now also rethinking things, re-evaluating my style and it was most definitely humbling. Feeling your pain on this one. I also looked into classes after my little fall off the tiny Kim pedestal I obviously had myself on. I hope I can find the time to take one. I am proud of you for making time for your classes!

    I guess the moral is that we can all use a new perspective and fresh eyes on our perceived talents, sometimes it just stings a little.

    • I KNOW! As soon as i posted this I read what you wrote and giggled outloud 🙂 Maybe my blogging voice doesn’t convert well when I’m writing about A Virtual Installment of VistA…?

  2. Well, maybe it’s the type of writing you’re doing that needs perfecting. I have students who can’t write a literary analysis to save themselves from a burning building, but they are astounding creative writers. And then I have the opposite: students who can write the pants off an academic essay, but they’re not so good on the creative side. Maybe you’re more of a creative writer (hence the compliments on your storytelling). After all, your blogs are creative non-fiction, aren’t they? Good for you for taking some classes!

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