Sunday, October 26, 2008

Umm Anthony, Words Mean Everything.

“Can't tell you nothing you ain't already heard
No matter what I say it's nothing but words
Just let me prove to you what I know is real
Let me express to you the way that I feel”
~ Anthony David, Words.

I think Anthony is full of shit. If it were “nothing but words” then why is it taking me so long to crank out the mere 1,400 words of sweet nothings designed to woo my way into the gracious hearts of various graduate admissions committees across the country? How do I finesse their minds in such a way that they would be willing to over look my low GRE scores, and my first two years I bullshited my way through college which resulted in me having less then stellar grades. Yeah, it’s true that I more than made them up by doing phenomenally well the last three years while working nearly 30 hours per week and attending school, but hasn’t every other candidate been through something similar??

It’s simply taking me forever to write a personal statement and statement of purpose for my graduate applications. It hasn’t taken me months, weeks, or days but years. Three years of looking for the right words to say that “I am passionate about journalism,” and “fluck those other candidates- I am what you are looking for.”

Not to mention the fact that Rabiah doesn’t want to go to just ANY school (raising pinky to lip), she has to go to one of the best an Ivy League preferably, or she doesn’t want to go. I am so working on being a little more humble, and being okay with going to a tier two school. At the moment though, I’d be lying if I didn’t say that I am striving for the best.

I didn’t want to come at them with the same sob story that most minorities have when they grew up poor. Yeah, the streets were hard, that’s why I couldn’t go out in them. I was sheltered so to speak. My high school was over crowed, didn’t have adequate books or enough teachers who cared. However, my teachers did care, I was in Advanced Placement classes and I had been taking additional community college courses since I was 15. I think they’ve read enough of those.

I could talk about my experience in the field, but my resume does that already.

Over achiever? Not really. Hard worker? Definitely. It’s the story of my life.

Ironically enough, the only thing that is really holding me back is my lack of confidence in my own writing.

Though I want to be a full-time journalist, I don’t consider myself a writer. To me a writer is someone who loves the science of written words. Writers paint pictures with words. Punctuation, grammar, sentence structure, are like paint brushes and a new Microsoft Word document is a canvas. They can invent phrases and invoke emotion. I love reading real writers, my friends the Golden Girls-Nakia, Syn, Britt, Lola, Dayna, in fact are amongst the best. Reading their work along with other writers such as Phellah G, Justin, JaySpace, We All Like Things, and One Man Gang, tells me I’ve got lots of work to do.

I can write too, I just wouldn’t say that a “real writer” is who I am. I don’t write because I love the craft of writing. I write because I like to talk, and inform people. I write to debate and discuss issues. I write so people can understand where I am coming from. I am not stringent about grammar and punctuation. It doesn’t bother me when people don’t stick to conventional standard forms of writing. Just don’t use large vocabulary words incorrectly and we won’t have any issues. Lol

I just want people to hear my voice and understand where I am coming from. The admissions committee wants to see evidence of a solid command of the written language. I don’t have an elegant prose to pen. My writing style is straight forward. I write the way I speak, revised.

Is it enough? Is it okay that I won’t be the next Maya Angelou or Toni Morrison? Sigh. Hopefully tomorrow I’ll have more ideas to write this statement from hell. These words that mean everything. As for now, my pillow awaits.


  1. 'Biah, you definitely shouldn't second guess yourself. This blog alone speaks volumes about your writing ability. Toni Morrison? Girl, I asure you that they are not looking for a Toni Morrison for journalism...they want someone who is straight forward and presents the facts. So do you, boo!

    And thanks for the shout out, but I need a whole lotta help on my own sentence structure and grammar & shat. I have definitely fallen off. lol

  2. What I've noticed about some of the best writers (who just don't know it yet) is that they lack the confidence to believe in themselves. They write very well and it is evident in the accolades that people shower them with but there is something amiss...everyone else believes in them but they don't believe in themselves. YOU ARE A WRITER.

    Just because your STYLE of writing varies from another writers, don't discredit yourself of the skills that you have. There are journalists that report their news thru the television and journalists who report their news through the paper; doesn't mean one is better than the other. It's all in your delivery and you do VERY well getting people to read what you have to say AND wanting to hear more.

    There was this writer that had HORRIBLE punctuation, RIDICULOUSLY long run on sentences, and grammar was definitely NOT her strong suit...but amidst the obvious things that would discredit her in some people's eyes, I saw that she had passion in what she was writing. All she had to do was nurse that potential and grow to have a respect for her own work and everything would fall into line. Her writing has improved greatly because she recognized in order to become one of the greats, she has to constantly keep doing better.

    That's the best advice I could give anyone...keep learning and NEVER stop putting your best foot forward. You already do those two things in just do it in your writing and you'll see what everyone else sees...that you actually ARE a good writer :)

  3. You definitely have to believe in yourself that you can do it. I can definitely feel where you are coming from, being that my first two years at the University of South Carolina I struggled with my grades. It took the last 3 years of college for me to get it together (and guess...I have a B.A. in Journalism). Now I am taking my chances to apply for grad school for 2009, knowing that my undergrad grads made the cut, although not stellar. I have plans on taking the M.A.T in January because the college I want to attend takes either a score from the GRE or the MAT. Being that I am not a great tester with any test issued by The College Board, I am taking my chances with the MAT. The other great challenge (and hopefully I'm accepted) is the fact that it is a degree that I will be earning online through Regents University (this college is located in Virginia Beach, VA and they offer on campus as well as online learning for most of their degrees). I want to continue to work, and right now relocating to VA (even though it would be nice) would not work out right now. I am praying things will work out for me.

    Believe me, you are definitely a writer no matter your writing style. I entered into the field as a news producer right after I graduated in 1998. The writing was easy no doubt, but the style of writing that I really wanted to get into was not there. Writing about hard core news stories all day will get the bills paid but I wanted to be able to write about things I enjoy (motorcycles, entertainment). This is something that I am doing now on my other blogspot page ( and I have entered some fiction contest (haven't won yet but I am going to continue to try). It's all about your faith. I know that you will do well and you will get into that grad school of your choice. Your name on blogspot says it all. Go for it!!! Your blogspot friends will be cheering you on.

  4. This was pretty powerful and I think (like some have already stated) that you just need to be a bit more confident in your craft. Once that confidence builds up and you can look in the mirror and call yourself a "writer", I think that everything else will fall neatly in place.

    I say, "never stop trying". I am a perfectionist to a perfect T and I can totally understand where you're coming from in this piece. You feel as though your best may not be good enough and "being average" just isnt what's poppin' in your world. I understand that completely.

    As a friend once told me, "take it one step at a time and look at everything individually instead of the whole picture". Maybe that can give you a bit of insight in your dilemma.

    Just keep believing in yourself, in your craft, in your value, and in YOUR world. All things will happen and come in time.


  5. you are definitely a good writer. like suga said they don't want morrison for a journalist. we need somebody who tells it to us "straight, no chaser" (<-s2s magazine). believe in yourself.

  6. Ok, can I say that I feel like I wrote this blog! LOL I completely get everything you're saying here. Not to rehash previous comments, but I think that the variety of writing styles is what makes the written word so compelling. As long as you continue to hone your craft and give your confidence a boost, you're be fine. :)

  7. Girl, please. Everybody ain't perfect and I think you should focus more on what you are saying in the statment versus how you are saying it. Would that make it a little better?

    Have you finished? Have you... started? LOL

  8. I see from your profile that you are out in Oakland.

    There are a ton of good schools out there. The California state publics [Berkley / Davis / L.A. / Irvine / Fulerton / Santa Barbara] are some of the best in the nation. Also, affordable in comparison the Ivy League privates.

    Many successful people have attended even smaller schools. You should give those state schools a look. I went to UNC-Chapel Hill; and am biased towards the state publics, for good reason.