Who is Terra Kelly? (Part Two)

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As I sat there looking at the one person who was supposed to build me up, encourage me, and give me guidance- today, I felt defeated. How was it possible for one person to break me down with just words?


As a writer we use words to express our thoughts, feelings, and big imaginations. So, when this person decided to change the rules midway through the first half of my internship, my world shifted. What I believed, how I was taught- it felt like lies upon lies.

Just like anything in life, we tend to react before thinking, right? I did, and just about gave up on my career and even writing.

Let’s start back at the beginning, shall we?

My desire to be a great student was at best a C-, I loved partying with my friends instead. When I was alone and feeling strong emotions, I pulled out my notebook and wrote down what I was feeling at that moment. The words were sad, strong, intense, and raw to the core. Yet, even at a young age I loved to write. However, I never planned to be a writer, that was never something I thought I could do. To be honest- I didn’t think I was smart enough OR creative enough.

So I kept each poem I wrote hidden in my desk or tucked all the way back in my closet. They were my words after all, and who would ever want to read a C- writer, right?

Several years later after I completed my bachelor’s in nutritional science degree, I needed to complete a dietetic internship to become a Registered Dietitian. I never thought this would be the time in my life where everything would change, and that C- would become an F at best.

What I’m writing here today has never been publicly shared, but I decided it was time to let it out- set it free once and for all. I know someone, somewhere, has experienced something not unlike my experience. What I hope you grab from this post- you’re not alone.

The internship was in Boise, Idaho, several hundred miles away from my angel (my husband). That was the toughest part of the whole adventure, being away from the one person who can always make me feel stronger. Then, during the internship I was expected to write: a lot. We were also expected to write a large paper that would need to then be put into a 45-minute presentation. Are you feeling what I’m feeling? Freaked out? Oh yeah, this C- writer had no clue how to approach this- so I chose head on, no looking back. What a mistake that was…

The moment my director sat down with me about my first draft of my paper, I felt something was not right. Then she said the magic words-

“You’re not a good writer.”

“This is elementary.”

Let’s fast forward through the tears and defeat.

Now, this F-writer was just not ready to give up, because she was raised to be strong and fearless. Who gives up? Not this girl.

Here’s the weird part of it all- during my bachelor’s degree I did write papers and guess what? I would get A’s and B’s on the papers, no note about being a bad writer anywhere. This is where the breakdown in the system happened- no one took the time to help make this C- writer better. Then the “lovely” director was finally trying to help- or was she? That’s something I will never know. What I believe and what the truth really is will be a mystery.

Here’s the thing, I tried, I gave it my all, and it just wasn’t enough. The internship did not end well- something that haunts me still to this day, or keeps me strong. I use it as my motivation to never give up on your dreams. I almost did though, let go of it all. When I was leaving the internship, the “lovely” director actually told me I should find a different career. Can you imagine? 

I let eight years pass by, basically letting that “lovely” director prove she was right. Then it happened. I woke from a dream with a story Idea, ran out and wrote it down. When my angel (my husband) said he wanted to know more my world shifted back into place and righted itself. At that moment I was able to prove that the “lovely” director was WRONG. I was also going to prove to

myself that I was not an F writer, I was better than that.

Are you wondering how I found the courage, strength, and will-power to overcome it all? Books. Yup, words helped me. I found three books that changed me, helped me to realize I needed to move past it all, let it go. It’s easy to say that, but actually doing it is something altogether different. I still struggle today. Self-doubt creeps in quite often, but we have to find peace eventually. Honestly, it’s really peaceful writing this today. 

Guess what?

I’m a writer.

I’m also an author of multiple books and more on the way.

I’m stronger today. What happened with the “lovely” director changed me, made me who I am. Ready to take on the next challenge put in front of me. Because guess what? I’m a writer without a writing background, and my readers LOVE my books.

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