ByMandi McGuire, writer at Creators.co
I am an eclectic mom of two, gaming enthusiast, and cinephile. I sell tech at Best Buy when I'm not writing about the things I love.
Mandi McGuire

I was lucky enough to be chosen to participate in the Fall 2015 semester of MPU. Nervous about what I might struggle with and terrified that my writing wouldn't be good enough, I went into week one with a guarded mindset. I was determined to keep it as impersonal as possible to avoid the judgement of others. My writing had always been just for me until I joined Moviepilot. Before MPU, I had only two or three posts. I still don't know how I got chosen, to be honest. This program was going to force me to write and I needed that push.

When I got paired up with my mentor, Samuel, the anxiety became real. This was happening and I had to write 24 articles over the next six weeks. He would read each one and tell me what I was doing wrong. It scared me to death. I was worried that he wouldn't like anything I wrote and suggest that I try to change my entire writing process.

I was wrong. My writing style is a little different than the typical MP writer. I spend hours on just one article and pour my heart into it. I tie my subject to present day issues as much as possible. I've done a lot of MPU articles related to mental health awareness. Samuel was encouraging and kind when providing feedback each and every time. He allowed me to grow comfortable with my writing style and guided me in a way that was productive for me.

I could see MPUFall2015 like this one day.
I could see MPUFall2015 like this one day.

It's that personalized feedback that everyone enrolled in this semester would speak to. It was easy to see that each and every participant was getting the feedback and advice they were seeking in the first place. The mentors went above and beyond to help up grow as writers, taking the program to a place I had no idea it would go.

Samuel and I worked together over the following weeks, each new article instilling more confidence in me. Eventually, we reached a point where he was telling me there wasn't much to edit. This is when I realized that I want to be a writer. He kept praising me on my thoughtfulness and passion for my work, reminding me of why I applied to the program in the first place. I will never be able to thank him enough for allowing me to take the risk of being myself for once.

I know my fellow MPUers felt the same way. Our Facebook group page was full of positive vibes. Coming from all directions, this infectious feeling of worth spread through all of us. It was amazing to see how everyone grew as writers and as people in such a short time. I'm proud of myself and proud of everyone involved in this MPU semester, especially our wonderful mentors.

So mentors,

Thank you so much! It takes a special kind of person to take a complete stranger under your wing and support them in the way you have. You have taken a passionate group of writers and helped them discover their strengths, their opportunities to grow and, whether you are able to see it or not, you helped them find themselves. Every single one of us is sad to see it conclude, yet happy we got the chance to connect with each other and with you. It's been a wonderful, stressful, fun and unforgettable experience. You had everything to do with how we utilized the program. So while you're congratulating us, pat yourselves on the back too. This was a team effort, but:

Do you want to have a chance to improve your writing like I did? Be yourself, write about what you want to write about and be excited about it. All it takes is one little Google Form to apply for MPU next time around. Take a chance: the worst thing that could happen is regretting your decision but hey, regretting something is a great thing to write about, right?

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