This is a question I've pondered since I started taking writing seriously, since before I started taking writing seriously. It's what held me back from starting sooner. I never thought my work was really good enough to consider myself a writer...I didn't know if I should even try it.
I asked my mentor, a published author, about how to navigate this question. I asked him how he knew when he was good enough. How he knew his work was good. He laughed and told me that out of all the people out there who want to write, if I'm even asking the question if I'm good enough, that shows I'm already on the right track. That I already know the answer to the question.
Writing, like all the other arts, is subjective. What some love others hate. What makes sense to me might not make sense to others. It's made me wonder what "good" means. How to define it. I haven't figured out the answer yet.
I'm hoping to revisit this question after I've published some work, even if it's just online. After I've gotten deeper into the craft, after I've explored more of who I am as a writer. I won't know how people receive my work until they read it. I won't know how I feel about my efforts until I finish them. As I wrap up the honors experience side of things, I realize that even having somebody read one of my pieces is a huge step forward and something that I'm proud of. The fact that my off the cuff writing was judged with positivity and the fact that I'm making more progress now than ever is so encouraging. Hopefully with more time and more words on the page I'll get closer to a definition of "good". But for now, I'll have to rely on my intuition and have faith that maybe I do have something, that "spark" after all.
Time and time again I've heard journaling helps you process things. Time and time again I've been told I should try it. And time and time again I avoided it. Maybe it's because I felt ridiculous writing just to myself, or maybe it's because I felt like I didn't have anything of significance to write about. I'm sure, no, I know everyone's talking about coronavirus: we're living through a global pandemic. It's turned the world on it's head and placed us in a fear-cultured limbo of uncertainty. It might be the destruction of normalcy that's finally motivated me to start publishing on my blog; with everything a disoriented mess, expectations and all the "supposed to's" of life have been snatched away like a piece of paper out of a car speeding down the highway.
I know I haven't been hit the hardest by this event and I feel very fortunate for what I do have. But as much as I try to focus on that, it doesn't take away the sting of what's happened. My college career came to a screeching halt. Everything that I had been looking forward to for five years: the senior ceremonies, seeing my friends at graduation, walking across campus after my final exam knowing that I'm done, for real done, all of that gone. I know my work and my collegiate experience still have worth, but unless I go to grad school I only get one graduation. Graduating college is the moment I've been working towards since I entered the schooling system; it's the moment all of us have been working towards.
The fact that graduation is (effectively) gone...the fact that I'll never sit in class with the people I've spent the last five years with ever again...the fact that I'll never have a class in Baldwin Hall again...I'll never have a club meeting ever again...and the fact that all of that happened so suddenly. It's jarring, it's shocking, and I don't know if I've fully processed it yet. I don't know what it'll take to get to that point either. Life happens, and in the most eloquent of terms, sometimes it sucks. But life isn't fair and sometimes we get the short end of the stick.
All I can do now is wait and see what happens, wash my hands frequently, and find some way to grow and learn from this experience.