The Bedwell Curse

I am sure she really meant no harm when she said, “You will never be a writer.”

The shock of the statement caused me to burn inside and I ached to prove her wrong. My sophomore English teacher failed to understand my punctuation and short sentences that often lacked complexity or my fascination with Tyburn poems.

“Rat-a-tat-tat,” she would write on my papers.

“Less poetry, more exposition,” she scrawled in big red letters.

Rhyming
Timing
Quaffing
Imbibing
Rhyming, timing spontaneity
Rebuffed as a quaffing, imbibing wastefulness.

Sentences consisting of subject-verb-object became my bread and butter; my go to sentence when I needed to clearly state a point. Ten years of television journalism proved a simple sentence often was all that was needed.

I felt pride in knowing Mrs. Bedwell was wrong.

Yet, I wasn’t really sure.

Writing 75 words a day for a crime story really doesn’t make for a deep writing career. The first day on the job as a science writer, I was assigned to write a 3,500 word story on a complex chemical reaction. I nearly left the Selectric II behind.

“How do I start?” I asked my new editor Kippie.

“Start by writing,” she had replied.

I still couldn’t begin. This was the first time I considered Mrs. Bedwell might have been right.

“You will never be a writer.”

The blank page turned brighter and I just stared at it until whiteness filed the room. I was pulled out of my brooding by a phone call.

“Just start,” Kippie, said through the speaker.

The typewriter clacked out the first word. Then the next. Soon there was a page of thoughts and sentences. Surprisingly, some of it seemed to flow and tell the story. It was rough.

“That’s what editors are for,” said Kippie, when I confessed it wasn’t very polished.

Who knows if I am the writer Mrs. Bedwell envisioned.

It doesn’t matter.

I am the writer I want to be.

Where you ever told you couldn’t write? Was that a proper judgement? If not, what did you do about it? Add your thoughts to the comments below.
 
Michael S. Sommermeyer

Michael S. Sommermeyer writes fast fiction, observations, poetry, mysteries, fantasies, and science fiction. He focuses on oddities, unbelievable facts, strange phenomenon, discoveries, and the people who wander uneven worlds. He ponders the dreams of mythmakers and explores what the every person dreams about. He writes fiction for http://wordsmithholler.com and has written scientific and technical writing for a number of magazines.

Leave a Reply

  • (will not be published)