Writing has always been part of my life, but I had not always recognized it. When I was a child, I used to write scripts for plays I tried to cast my family in. No one ever wanted to be in them though. In English and Language Arts classes, the creative writing portion was always my favorite part of the course. In high school I absolutely hated writing essays–I still do. Being forced to write an essay is like someone saying to me, “Here…write about THIS…and it BETTER be good!” No pressure, right? I like to have a connection with whatever I’m writing because my thoughts flow more fluidly and the readers can feel the passion. I used to write killer essays that even impressed me even though I wrote them. I would proudly turn them on the due date expecting stellar results, but I never received the grades I felt I deserved. As a matter of fact, my grades really sucked. The worst part about it was that the teachers never took the time to point out what I did wrong. I was very shy in those days, so I didn’t bother to ask. Over time, my attitude went from, “Man, what’s going on here? I know I write well,” to, “Maybe I don’t write well,” to, “I HATE writing!” This was my sad new reality.
When I was applying for college scholarships, my stance was this: I WILL NOT apply for anything requiring an essay unless it’s an offer I can’t refuse! I left so much money on the table because of that. I was really hurt and discouraged because I didn’t think I was very smart, and writing was the only subject at which I was consistently good. By the end of high school, the only time I wrote anything was when I had to–-well, except for all those pages I wrote in my journal when I was crushing on some dude. I was scarred for life.
I enrolled in English 1101 in my first semester of college. That class changed my life! The professor taught the grammar rudiments in a way that made it plain and easy to understand. The rules were actually very easy. Although I was enjoying the class, I was upset because I should have learned this stuff several years ago. I was angry at my high school teachers for not taking the time to make sure we understood what was going on. I turned into a grammar geek with this “new” information I was receiving. I even began speaking more correct–not that I didn’t speak well before.
I got an A on the first paper of the semester. I was happy, but very skeptical thinking it was just beginner’s luck. I was still living in the false new reality that I was not a good writer. However, I reserved judgment until the end of the semester. I excelled in the class, took the same teacher for 1102, and excelled in that class too. I was back! I was excited that my flare for writing had not been lost, but just buried under my own fear and lack of knowledge. (Check out Hosea 4:6a) During this time I started experimenting with other types of writing. I had always dreamed of being able to write poetry, and if I exerted enough energy and effort I could come up with something mildly decent. I also starting writing Bible studies, devotionals, and started developing my writing style and voice.
In the spring of 2003, I lost my maternal grandfather. I was given the task to speak on behalf of the grandchildren at the funeral. I am perfectly fine with teaching, training, etc. because I have guidelines and notes to look at so I don’t get lost. On the other hand, getting in front of people and speaking off the cuff is something I’d rather not do. I’m just not gifted in that way. I decided that if I was gonna make it through without zero problems, then I was just going to have to write something and read it aloud. I must say that it was brilliant. I knew I had talent before, but after reading this, there was no question in my mind ever again that I was gifted. I even felt as though writing was going to be a very significant part of my life, but I didn’t understand how. From the moment I stepped foot on campus for the first time, I questioned my existence. I knew I was going to do something significant, but I had no clue what it was. Those first three years were very trying and frustrating times for me. I prayed a lot about what I should do and waited patiently for an answer.
In the summer of 2003, I was doing my hair and thinking about my life until that point among some other things. Out of nowhere I got a great idea for a book. Before I could get too excited about it, God spoke. He said, “This is what you’re supposed to do,” in that God kind of cool, calm way. My response was just, “Oh.” Somehow I wasn’t extremely “wowed” by that. Everything just made soo much sense at that time, and I was ok with what He had said. My life had flashed through my mind, and I saw how God had already equipped me for this, but the devil used soo many things to try and stop me…but God had plans.
I originally started blogging because I needed a way to get comfortable with people reading what I write. Until I started blogging, the thought of people reading my material scared the living daylights out of me! My writing had always been a very private part of my life, but God was calling out a bolder Jess. Of course, I am always always on the potter’s wheel being sculpted, but I have evolved a lot over the past few years. That’s called growth! What you have the opportunity to see on this website is the evolution of that growth. I call this Jess the Way It Is because my name is Jessica, and I tell “it” just the way it is! You have entered into my world the way I see it. Don’t be scared. 🙂 Enjoy!