Learning From Challenges: Writing vs Drawing

by Jermaine

Don't ever give up on something you believe in.

My Childhood Talent: Drawing

Some things in life come easier than others.

As a child I was always good at drawing and art. I won awards, got constant attention, and even saw my face in the newspaper and on television because of my natural ability to draw. In a short span between fifth grade and seventh grade I internally thought that I had conquered the entire Metro Detroit area with my artistic talent.

Being a shy, non-talkative, middle-child this had a huge impact on my confidence and my life. I had spent a lot of time trying to blend into the background and now I was being thrust to the forefront (for a good reason). Most people who happen to stumble onto something that they are good at are encouraged to take it and run with it. Of course, my life was no different. From teachers, to principals, to family members, everyone seemingly had a ton of advice to give me in regards to art. All the while I was craving something else.

What else?

My Childhood Challenge: Writing

While I was winning art contest and gaining tracking in the visual realm my true desire was writing. I entered poetry, essay, and short-story contest… and lost them all. It was such a contrast from my artistic competition experience that I didn’t even place! It was so bad that I had a good friend of mine tell me once, “If you are so good at drawing why do you even care about writing? STICK TO DRAWING!” At twelve this sounded like the words of a prophet. Though well intended, eighteen years later I’m glad I didn’t take his words to heart.

Learning From My Challenges

Years went by with me still writing and still occasionally entering contest. It wasn’t until my sophomore year in college that I finally got honorable mention in a poetry contest. That doesn’t give me the right to say that I’m ready to bump off Shakespeare, Maya Angelou, or Edgar Allan Poe. However, I can say that as a writer I’ve truly grown. Endurance, especially when it comes to things you truly love is essential. If I gave up on writing because it didn’t come easy I would have never contributed to A Sparks Start. Thus, this post you’re reading right now wouldn’t exist.

I’m sure there are things in your life that are challenging and yet, rewarding. Take some time to reinvest some energy back into the “thing” that didn’t come easy and see what happens.