My mentor handed me a two paged article. “TP, go through this.”
The title read “It’s hard to be a girl.” It delved into one girl’s life and the hardship during childhood which evidently made a tom boy out of her. Apart from the missing male anatomy, everything about her made her a He.
It was well written with all the flair you need in an article topped with a greater message.
I thought it was a great write up but I did not like liking it. It made me feel less of a writer.
I am the sort of writer who is not good at hearing out criticism, more so, when it concerns my own write up. But when it comes to praises, I have a different take on it. I take the compliments, even when its got lies written all over it. The only thing common would be that I would be smiling in both the events.
But this article did not have me smiling. So the whole article had me thinking, contemplating on why my mentor wanted me to go through it in the first place. I did not feel the same way when my mentor introduced me to Poe Ballantine’s and Hunter S. Thompson’s write-ups. In fact I felt motivated then.
So, why was there a change in my perception? Was it because it was written by a fellow Bhutanese? Like said in some movie, it feels bad to see your friends fail an exam, but worse still is seeing him securing superior rank than you. So, reading a good article by a fellow Bhutanese (my age group), was reminiscent of seeing your friend fetching better grades than yourself.
Was I giving into the Belief that I could only compete or be as good as any Bhutanese writer and only foreign writer could be better with all the advance technique and finesse, in a league of their own?
Like having drunk the elixir of realization, the message finally set in. I was just few articles old and there was a huge room for improvement. Maybe the article making its way to me, through my mentor, was a signal on how I needed to work more on my writing. I had to accept that there were better writers out there and we weren’t exactly competing. I just had to do my part in becoming a better writer. I knew it to be a part of his mentoring.
Yes, it is true that for some it is hard to be a girl and it is no lie when I say that it isn’t easy to be a writer either. The lesson I learnt: I am not a good writer yet, not even close, just a toddler as a writer, whining at every fall.
P.S It’s not the usual Bhutanese disease of being too modest.