“Potential” she said…


“Potential, a talent, a poetic writer, an imaginative creator… but not a mechanical or technical literate. You are one that loves to the break the rules of writing, one who forces the readers to think and one that completely writes from the standpoint of your own voice instead of the tradition of expression” I was told this today by my Intro to Fiction Writing teacher. 

As a young African American woman writer, getting this advice was both encouraging and difficult. To hear that you have a talent for something you consider to be a knack, a hobby, a get away from reality is astounding, mind bobbling and almost as if it was heavenly revelation from God his self. That to hear someone say you have potential is something that both amazes and scares you. 

Amazed that something you considered useless, pathetic almost non-existent to actually have worth is exhilarating. And yet to see that though you have all the capabilities of becoming slightly “good” you are not “good” but merely a step above the Average Joe is frightening. 

To wonder what other’s think of your writing, your ideas, your thoughts is scary. And though I fear confrontation and judgement. I feel that my heart leads me onward through the thick of the fight. Whether this potential is just a nice word she says to cover her inner thoughts, or a real word of advice does not matter anymore. What matters now is making sure where I fault becomes better.

For if her potential was mere lies, then I will turn it into the truth. I will make the bare desolate earth bear fruit through sheer will, and make it abound with life forever more. 

“Potential” in my life means, the ability to do something that seems either to be a mere thought or an idea.


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