I Got an Award for My Writing…?

I’ve had a pretty wild ride of a day today. From startling awake at 4 am via nightmare to running family errands to working out to driving around the city in search of the perfect black dress for a perfect wedding (just go with it) with my best friend. Sometime during this adventure, I took the thirty minute drive downtown at the request of my old Creative Writing teacher.

The exchange went something like this:

{insert number here} missed calls from unknown number

Me: These damned telemarketers…! (I proceeded to block said unknown number)

*1 voicemail from unknown, blocked number* (for some reason, my phone does that. Why? Did I not block their number for a reason?): “Hello, this is your Creative Writing teacher Mr. R from last semester. I wanted to let you know that I thought what you wrote in my class was great, but we haven’t been able to get in touch with you…call such-and-such-number and find out more.”

I, feeling down on myself for my writing and my ability to make a living as a writer, really needed to hear that. I know my expression went from “why the hell am I getting messages from blocked telemarketers” to “EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!” in the blink of an eye.

I was excited. I was enthusiastic. I was hopeful and, sure, just the teensiest bit proud. I have to admit writing for a Creative Writing class isn’t the easiest thing; to have work done passionately judged critically, to have people misinterpret your writing, to actually try hard to write something worthwhile even if it’s just for a virtual classroom to read.

I felt maybe I’d earned something I could really, truly feel confident in, like I’d earned it. It’d be the first time in a long time.

So, yes, a thirty minute drive and a grueling search for the Gonzalez Hall, room 203,  and I was standing in a makeshift office type setting, in front of two girls at a table/desk. They pulled out a black file container–the plastic kind you might find at Wal-Mart–and asked me what my teacher’s name was.

When I told them, recognition flooded their faces like they should have known. And after a bit of fussing and searching, they procure my award from the container: a certificate dubbing that I am recognized for excellent writing by “Mr. R”.

I’m still proud, to an extent.

But somehow after that, it feels more like a participation award than anything. I feel less like I earned it and more like it was handed to me for good behavior.

Which is a tad disappointing.

Doesn’t matter, though. I appreciate my teacher appreciating my work, and, award or no reward, I know what I want for myself when it comes to my writing (to as much of an extent as one can expect from a girl who has about 5 different interests on any given day), and I was the same without it as I am with it. I have improvements to make. I have a long ways to go. But I’ll go the distance just to be able to enjoy my writing and have others enjoy it, too.

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