For so many years, I had doubted my own writing skills. Learning English as a second language had led me to speak haltingly, afraid that my speech would be made fun of. I believed that if my speech was poor, than my writing would be poor as well. Although I was eventually able to speak English naturally, and even though I had forgotten my previous language, I still doubted my writing skills. No time was more nerve wracking then when I had to present a paper in class. Presenting a paper meant that everyone would be able to see that I was a horrible writer. It would provide for never-ending ridicule.
However, ridicule never came. Instead, my teachers would compliment my writing, and I had fellow students coming to me, wishing for me to edit their papers. Admittedly, I was most surprised. Couldn’t everyone see how disjointed the sentences were? Couldn’t they tell that I had a hard time with the simple grammatical concepts? Were they mocking me? I thought for sure that this was the case, that people were simply too nice to critique my work seriously.
But I soon came to realize that, maybe they were right. Maybe I was better at writing than I thought. All these years, I had used reading to supplement my speech. My fear of looking like a fool in front of others when I spoke was so disarming, that I read books every day. I read everything that I could get my hands on. Through the course of reading, I learned that I had a mild case of dyslexia. Through even more reading, I was able to manage my problem. When the problem was fixed, I actually started reading for enjoyment, and started reading anything I could get my hands on.
Through all of that reading, I was able to learn. I learnt how a correct sentence sounds. I learnt how and where to use commas and periods. I learnt how to organize my thoughts into cohesive writing. My problem, my fear of not being good enough, had caused me to hold back in my writings. When I was able to realize this, I was finally able to be proud of my writings. Now, I try my hand at writing books. Nothing big, you understand. Because if there’s one thing I believe, it’s this. I believe that any obstacle can be overcome. Sometimes it will take time, and sometimes it will take baby steps, but anything can be overcome. Even a fear of writing.