Once we had finished, my cousin asked if I could look over her paper that was due tomorrow.
She said she was desperate.
We left the dinner table and went into their office.
I sat down next to her and read what she had written so far.
My gears started moving very quickly.
I watched her become glassy eyed as I tore apart her sentences like a grammar Nazi.
In a span of ten minutes I had practically written her entire paper on social networking from a socialist and feminist perspective.
She was smiling from ear to ear in gratitude.
I cringed and warned her to change around the wording to make it sound more like her.
(But in all fairness, she did learn something - I made her Google ‘Suffragettes’).
I have always had a knack at helping other people write papers.
When I was in high school, I would edit my older sister’s college term papers all the time.
But when it came to writing my own university papers …I was utterly helpless.
A real dud.
The idea of writing a thirteen page paper about a short sonnet seemed like an insurmountable task.
I would panic so much that I had to avoid it and then rush through it at the last minute.
But helping other people to write theirs meant they were graded, not me.
I liked that better.
I didn’t have to make it perfect - that was their job.
I was just another set of eyes to ensure it made sense, had a cohesive flow, and was proper written English.
I was crippled with anxiety for my own papers because, in all honesty, I hated being graded.
I didn’t want someone to tell me my writing was bad.
I needed it to be perfect, in my own mind, without their input.
Guess what that accomplishes?
A bonafide Type A personality and ridiculous writer’s block.
Years and years of it.
Do you see why I needed a blog?
Do you understand why I needed to do this?
To push myself forward without getting in my own way.
There is terrible grammar sprinkled all over the past 357 days.
But I wrote anyway.
And I'm not scared anymore.