Tuesday, November 1, 2011

30 Days of Thankfulness in Writing – Day 1: Professors

During the past few years I’ve seen several of my friends embark on a 30-day Thankfulness challenge for the month of November. The idea is to post on their Facebook page one item each day for which they are thankful. I was so intrigued by this that I decided that this year I would attempt to update my blog every day with something or someone that has been a blessing in my writing life. I’d love to have you join me by visiting each day and perhaps posting something for which you are thankful for in the comments section below.

Today I am thankful for four college professors I had who saw a talent in me they decided to foster by pushing me harder than I at times thought fair.

I am thankful for Rick Thompson who saw in a ridiculous and very short story an ability to engage the imagination and create a world he thought children would love to explore. It is because of him I first started dreaming of becoming a real writer.

I am thankful for Luis Perotti, a World Lit professor who realized I just needed someone to sit down and explain a few simple mechanics in order to really excel in writing, and who opened a whole new world for me as a result. I only had one class with him, but he always stopped me in the hall when he saw me to catch up with me and see how my education (and writing) were progressing.

I am thankful for Mada Morgan who introduced me to the joys of writer’s manuals and gifted me with my first Moleskine notebook upon graduation. She also taught me the fundamentals of rhetoric and editing, and worked alongside some fellow students and me as an advisor while we created a departmental e-zine and two annual writing competitions for English & Writing majors.

And I am thankful for Craig Wright who never allowed his students to use five words where one would suffice. Who taught me the difference between having a well-rounded vocabulary and flipping through a thesaurus. I am thankful for all the times he forced me to cut a story in half, then in half, and then in half again until I finally discovered that in order to write one must first have a story to tell.

I am thankful for these four individuals because they are the beginning of my story. It is through their efforts, their patience, and their guidance that my eyes were opened to see the first archway in my three-act play, and it is because of their encouragement that I had the faith to step through it.

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