I am UIC: Are you a Good Writer?

“Do you think you are a good writer?” asked Natasha Barnes, director of Undergraduate Studies for UIC English.

“What writer thinks they are good?” I replied.

After this extensive conversation with Barnes, I began to ask myself, “What makes a writer believe that their piece is good?”

Writing a creative nonfiction story is quite different from writing a research paper, a book review or a lab report; the writer must think about a memory in their life, describe this memory and have a message for the reader. Because writing a nonfiction story requires creativity, most writers have a unique way of telling their story.

Some writers like to have a conflict at the beginning of the story, then a resolution at the end. Some writers try to paint a picture as they write; they describe patiently, luring the reader into the story and then throwing the climax at the end without giving a clear resolution. Some writers do not necessarily even have a conflict, a climax or a resolution.

“But how will you know that you are a good writer?”

You know you have the passion for writing, you know you can write excellently but until you find an audience that appreciates your work and understands the decisions you make as a writer, you might continuously doubt your piece as well as your skills as a nonfiction story writer.

Every story and every writer has its audience; writing is another form of art, and art is skewed by one’s personal taste. Therefore, as a writer, you need to stop doubting your skills because someone or even a group of people do not accept or understand your work; it is art not everyone would understand or view the piece the same way.

I have often heard that the best authors or short story writers were heavily critiqued; their works were mostly not accepted, but at some point, they found their perfect audience — one who understood their work, appreciated their techniques; thus, we now study their works in different English courses today.

Temitope Odedoyin

Temitope Eddna Odedoyin is majoring in English and fully concentrating in media and professional writing. Apart from writing, she has a passion for painting and enjoys using watercolors, oil paint, acrylic, charcoal, oil pastel. She also has an interest in creative writing and short stories. She believes that art — through writing and painting — is a way of expressing one’s feelings.

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