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Need opinions (1 Viewer)

  • Thread starter Curious4Critique
  • Start date
C

Curious4Critique

I stumbled upon this website and decided that many of you being writers/having experience in writing, would be qualified to give me an honest opinion. I have a sample of my writing. I want to preface by saying that I am in no way college educated. I barely know the basics of how to construct a paragraph, much less how to "write". I received my GED. I recall failing a lot in high school, mainly due to lack of motivation and utter boredom. Anyway, it is of the time that I feel I am going nowhere in my career and perhaps should try to acquire/learn a skill. I do like writing, although I have not taken more than 10th grade English. I was thinking that perhaps with some classes, I could learn to be better at it and possibly use it as a skill in future jobs. Basically, what I'm asking is does it seem like I have any natural skill for it? Aside from the horrible construction? Remember it's been 10 years since I've sat in an English class. Does it seem like with a few classes, I could learn the basics?

Here is something I found that I wrote a couple years ago. It was a personal topic to me... usually, the only that get my input...




Normally I would not be one to include my opinion because I feel that
voicing strong opinions almost always leads to another strong opinion
and eventually an argument or debate. I find both, whether
intellectual, moral, spiritual or philosophical in nature tend to serve
little, to no purpose.


However, after watching Oprah, yes Oprah, I was curious as to the sort
of thoughts and feelings a girl that I had never met and only learned
of after her death had shared in such a public forum. More curious as
to how they were received by others who seemed to have a greater
glimpse into her particular suffering in the last months before, and
even the day of her death than those who knew her, or probably thought
they knew, better than anyone.

After reading Suzy's posts, I saw that she never felt that she
belonged to or fit in with any particular group, until she found other
"Ashers". She found others who, like herself, were preoccupied
with thoughts of suicidal ideation. This gave her comfort; she saw
that she was not so unusual and that many people struggle with
depression to whom, often times, suicide seems like an alluring option
which will end that depression. She did not believe in God, she
believed in "nothing", but after reading her posts it seems that
she did believe in something and that was that suicide was ultimately
her answer, her last and final one.

I do not think that this newsgroups is responsible for her death as
some others may, she died by her own hand. Still, I am unsettled by
the fact that she seemed to be encouraged by some, whether advertently
or inadvertently. Her feelings were then dismissed by others, one in
particular, who went on to say that no one would miss a self-absorbed
whiner like herself and questioned, or rather challenged whether she
would follow through on her claims of wanting to kill herself just less
than 48 hours before she actually did. I feel that statement alone
only reinforced her own negative perception of herself, and furthermore
gave her something to prove. I was struck by comments like these, by
people who were trading insults behind the safety of their computer
screens. In itself this is not a surprising thing, since there are
plenty of 13 year olds and those with the same maturity level trading
schoolyard insults all over the internet on various topics and for
reasons unbeknownst to many. No offense to those really awesome 13
year olds who have learned better before some 3 times their age.
However, this is a newsgroup addressing such a serious topic as ending
ones life.

She was most definitely and impressionable and sensitive girl, a girl
who found meaning in song lyrics and quotes, who was looking for
acceptance, validation and to belong. It is one thing to find support
through like-minded individuals, to have a place to discuss very
personal and sensitive topics and she did, but it is quite another to
find other people who I can only assume enjoy hurting others who are
clearly already hurting very much, which she also found.

I now feel that anonymous message boards on the internet may not be the
very best place for anyone to seek support. She spoke of this being
the easiest way for her to share these thoughts, but I feel it was also
the most dangerous. Anonymity can be a blessing or a curse. With the
veil of anonymity, you can do or say things you otherwise wouldn't,
feeling safe that you are protected. Suzy found this comforting, as
I'm sure those of you who corresponded with her must feel now. The
only thing is that you have no way of knowing who it is you're
writing to, it's easy not to wonder when these are not familiar
faces, they are nameless ones. A schizophrenic may suffer with voices
that urge, encourage and suggest various methods of how to proceed with
such acts, all coming from within their own mind. I am not sure what
to think of similar messages appearing on ones computer screen every
day. For some, that is not what this group is about at all, but for
others, perhaps Suzy, it can serve in that manner.

To say those who frequented this newsgroup are responsible [for her
death] is wrong, but to say that you glamorized suicide and ultimately
contributed [to her death] is absolutely correct. Perhaps if such a
place did not exist, she would have turned to someone who knew and
cared for her with some of these thoughts, someone who, unlike herself
and others belonging to this group, could see and help her to see that
there are reasons to live. I'm sure many of you are still alive,
I'm sure some of your thoughts and feelings have changed. You may
even be happy now, if so I am glad. It's possible and it was
possible for Suzy too. It's a shame she didn't know that.
She had several reasons to live. She had only one reason not to and
that was she did not want to live in pain. That in itself is
understandable. However, she left this world and left her family and
friends behind with extreme pain that they now have to deal with. If
that isn't selfish, I do not know what an appropriate illustration
would be. Suicide is a selfish act.
 

terrib

Senior Member
I think it's a very good rambling. I also think you're a little modest with your talent. Great job!
 
W

Wannabee

You write quite well. Welcome; I'm a high school dropout with GED who passed one semester of high school English and took only one upper level English course in college. I've published 3 scientific journal articles and my first non-fiction article will be published soon in a national magazine. You probably got 99% of what you need to know about grammar and composition drilled into you in grade school, just like I did. I dont think you need any classes, you just need to write. Of course classes probably wont hurt, simply because they will require you to write. I intend to take some English classes as soon as I can afford to for that reason, and to make up for what I missed.
 
C

Curious4Critique

thanks

I want to thank the two of you who responded. I feel a little better now. I knew given what little training I've had, that I do write pretty well. I just didn't know in comparison to others (college educated) if I sounded ignorant/uneducated. Which in a way would be correct. I think most of what I have absorbed is just through what I've picked up on my own. It's interesting that you say you learned most of what you needed in grammar school. That is the only time I was not bored with school, and the only time my grades reflected that. I just feel like I need to cure my focus problem when it comes to classes/learning. At 25 and underemployed, I think now is as good a time as any. Does anyone have any career fields that incorporate writing? I don't think I would want to be a "writer", but in a field that uses writing. My mother has made a career in the Government for over 30 years, and does quite a lot with writing in the Human Resources division. She has done quite well. She also was an English major and has a degree. Do you think not being a college graduate will severely limit me?
 

JohnN

Senior Member
Well written, good flow and it means something. For a random muse it was good. Keep writing, you may have a talent!
 

Erik Buchanan

Senior Member
I want to thank the two of you who responded. I feel a little better now. I knew given what little training I've had, that I do write pretty well. I just didn't know in comparison to others (college educated) if I sounded ignorant/uneducated. Which in a way would be correct. I think most of what I have absorbed is just through what I've picked up on my own. It's interesting that you say you learned most of what you needed in grammar school. That is the only time I was not bored with school, and the only time my grades reflected that. I just feel like I need to cure my focus problem when it comes to classes/learning. At 25 and underemployed, I think now is as good a time as any. Does anyone have any career fields that incorporate writing? I don't think I would want to be a "writer", but in a field that uses writing. My mother has made a career in the Government for over 30 years, and does quite a lot with writing in the Human Resources division. She has done quite well. She also was an English major and has a degree. Do you think not being a college graduate will severely limit me?

Most administrative jobs require writing in one form or another (I supported myself for 10 years doing admin work). If you have basic organizational skills and can learn to type, you can get admin work, which is not the most exciting thing it the world, but which can open up career opportunities.

Not being a college graduate can limit you in terms of career selection because many jobs are looking for people with degrees. That said, at 25 you can start learning again, taking courses part-time while working and sharpening your skills so you can become more employable. You are now at the age where your high schooling is less important that your career education. How you did in high school will be less noticeable if you add a certificate in whatever field you choose to follow.

From the sounds of it, you might want to consider getting some career counseling. Talk to the counselor about what your goals are (personal, career, financial), take some tests to determine your aptitudes, and once you've got a list of possible careers in front of you, figure out which ones look interesting and what you have to do to work in those fields.

Good luck.
 

Cran

Da Boss Emeritus
Patron
... I am in no way college educated. I barely know the basics of how to construct a paragraph, much less how to "write". I received my GED. I recall failing a lot in high school, mainly due to lack of motivation and utter boredom. Anyway, it is of the time that I feel I am going nowhere in my career and perhaps should try to acquire/learn a skill. I do like writing, although I have not taken more than 10th grade English.
I don't know what a GED is, Curious4Critique, but I can offer you one person's perspective -

I didn't finish high school; I didn't even finish 10th grade (Year 10, whatever). I've been writing non-fiction professionally (and fiction for personal satisfaction and pocket money) off and on over 30 years. So yes, it can be done.

Would I have achieved more if I'd earned a degree? Hell, yes! So, I've been earning my tertiary qualifications part time - I still have a way to go, but already new and better opportunities have come to my door. Am I earning a comfortable living? Not now, but I have in the past, and the prognosis is good.

I was thinking that perhaps with some classes, I could learn to be better at it and possibly use it as a skill in future jobs. Basically, what I'm asking is does it seem like I have any natural skill for it? Aside from the horrible construction? Remember it's been 10 years since I've sat in an English class. Does it seem like with a few classes, I could learn the basics?
Yes, you could benefit from the right courses or classes; not so much for the basics, but for the "polish" and for the critical skills which are not apparent in your example piece, and which you need if you want to write anything more than a common blog, or letters to the editor.

Look for classes in Professional English or Professional Writing or Communication Skills - a whole range of names for it, but essentially they are the same. Beyond that, it depends a bit on what sort of writing you want to do as a career - administrative, reference, journalism, creative ...

At the same time, choose a non-writing-specific but research-based class or two - eg, history, art, science, whatever spins your wheels - this will give you a focus to hone your skills, and add depth to your qualification.

Here is something I found that I wrote a couple years ago. It was a personal topic to me... usually, the only that get my input...
If you can get through even one semester of Professional English (or whatever it's called in your part of the world) with a Credit (roughly a B grade) or better, then you won't need me to tell you what's wrong with this piece. You'll be able to pick it apart yourself, see the typos and other errors, and recognise the waffle.

If you do decide that writing professionally is for you, then you will also learn to develop an interest in any topic you might be called upon to write, or you will end up with a very narrow (and probably very short) career.
 
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