Do not let what you cannot do tear from your hands what you can do African proverb

August - February 2017

The African proverb, "do not let what you cannot do tear from your hands what you can do," is something I wish I knew during my writing journey. For as long as I can remember, I have always had a love hate relationship with writing. I love the power that writing has: its ability to inspire others, create new worlds, and open minds. However, despite my appreciation for writing, every time I sat down to write I experienced on of the following:

1. I will start writing with a sudden burst of excitement. I will grip my pencil smiling from ear to ear and let my hand skate through the paper. I will relish in the fact that I was finally putting words onto paper until my brain, without warning, awkwardly stops mid-sentence leaving the rest of me hanging. I will begin this process with another "amazing" idea only to talk myself out of its worth.


Depending on which one I experience, the process will repeat itself until my desk was either filled with half-filled ripped sheets of paper that all rudely refused to finish their sentence. Or until, I give into my frustrations and give up writing for the day. I wanted every word to fall perfectly into place without any hesitations, and when it did not my perception of writing would slowly got tainted. I did not, and still do not, have the patience and perseverance that writing requires and as a result I dreaded taking English this semester.

February - March 2017
March - Present

I always allowed my lack of patience to get in my way. Whenever I experience an obstacle with my writing, my first response was to give up. To combat this, I tried multiple methods: bullet points, outlines, brainstorming, and etc. However, nothing changed. For instance, Inquiry one was the hardest inquiry for me. Apart from my inability to write about myself, I honestly did not know how to start the inquiry or what to even write about despite how many times I brainstormed.

It wasn't until Inquiry 2 that I realized something. Inquiry 2 was the first writing assignment, in a while, where writing came easy to me. My ideas flowed coherently, and most importantly, hardly any hesitation and frustration. Inquiry 2 was one of the few writing assignments were I was excited to explore and write. As a result, I wrote multiple drafts which helped strengthen my paper since I combined all my strongest ideas into one. Since I was passionate about the topic, I was less worried about everything being prefect. From that moment on, I choose to write topics that I am really passionate about. Even if the prompt is not something that I am excited about, I will find an aspect and or a main idea that I am passionate about that fit the prompt. I was able to do this in my other classes as well such as, my business computing class where I had to write a business memo for President Crawford.

Although I still experience the frustrating parts of writing, I am willing to experience it and more willing to overcome it. In the past, I was never that passionate about the things I was required to write, I just wrote. However, after inquiry two, my writing process was shortened and the only thing I can attribute this to is passion. Through this, English 111 has helped me to not let what I cannot do (i.e. draft) take away from what I can do. Hopefully I can apply this lesson to my future classes like Economics and Calculus.


Created with images by ai3310X - "The wind waker" • YIM Hafiz - "Rose bud" • ~suchitra~ - "Honey flower"

Report Abuse

If you feel that this video content violates the Adobe Terms of Use, you may report this content by filling out this quick form.

To report a Copyright Violation, please follow Section 17 in the Terms of Use.