Writing Teacher

When I was near the end of secondary school, what would be called senior high school in some parts of the world, our English teacher assigned us the homework to write an essay. And I was inspired – totally inspired – actually inspired to the point where I didn’t read back over my essay after I scribbled it down because I was convinced that it had come to me in perfect form from the muse herself.
When the teacher handed back the essays, mine had many many corrections and big red question marks. But I was most surprised by the comments at the end, “What is this nonsense? You are such a good writer that it really is a shame to see you produce something like this.”
For about 5 minutes, I was angry that the teacher hadn’t recognized my inspired genius, and then for some reason I felt really good and wanted to write much more. In fact, I even considered becoming a full-time writer.
And for a long time, I thought that my new-found interest in writing was to spite the teacher, to make me able to say “Hah, I showed you – I became a writer.” And then many years later, I realized what had actually happened. The teacher had criticized my behaviour (“what is this nonsense”) while simultaneously praising me at the identity level (“you are such a good writer”) and although the Identity level statement passed by my conscious mind, that was what my unconscious mind accepted and it was exactly that statement that made me become much more interested in writing.

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