Why I Write Update

I think most people like choices. In the cereal aisle at any supermarket, you’ll see plenty of options ranging from Honey Nut Cheerios to Froot Loops. (I think that’s actually spelled “correctly.”) I’m not the type of person who likes choices. In fact, I like to make decisions based on as few choices as possible. When I’m at a restaurant with a lengthy menu, I tend to feel overwhelmed. I read the prompt for this essay and noticed this sentence: “The structure of this essay is up to you.” No! Now I have so many decisions to make. I have to determine the organization, tone, and delivery of this paper. So many options. But I must look at writing this essay as an opportunity to take a step back and reflect on the decisions I make in my writing. I have made clear choices in past writings, so this may also serve as a way to defend my past decisions.

The two pieces we read for today resonated with me. It took me a while to realize, but I now understand that the a key component of writing is actually writing. As Sullivan would agree, I had to let go and simply put something down on paper. Far too many times I would attempt to develop my thoughts fully in my head before even tapping away on the keyboard. This method resulted in my hyper-awareness of what I was writing and an inability to put pure thoughts down on my paper. I was trying too hard to be perfect. My high school English teacher once said “Writing is rewriting.” I took this to mean that a piece is never complete. There’s always work to be done. This frustrates me, yet I eventually came to acknowledge that the writing process never stops because nothing is perfect.

I’m still in the midst of determining where I want to take my essay. I’m still determining whether I want to revert to my go-to style of argumentative essay or embrace a narrative style. I plan to include my previous writings to best explain “Why I Write.” I hope to convey to the reader that I write because I love thoughtful discussion. Although I tend to write argumentative papers, I really love engaging in conversations and finding common ground.

I look forward to writing this essay. I believe it will give me a nice space to reflect on my prior essays and prepare for the writing ahead.

3 thoughts to “Why I Write Update”

  1. I love your opening paragraph about choices. I could not figure out why I was having such a hard time starting this paper. While reading your blog post it finally registered that it’s because there are so many ways I can write this paper and get my points across. I mean the possibilities are endless and my mind is just a playground for imagination.
    The readings are on point as well, and I like how you talk about an important component of writing is just writing. And even if our head is filled with so many choices it doesn’t really count until we have it on paper. Once it’s on paper we can really see what’s good about the ‘choices’ in our minds. Great post.

  2. Hi Mark. Your comment about “froot loops” made me laugh (I just googled it, and you were right!) What is your opinion of those people who correct spelling in informal internet posts? They seem like haters to me. For example, my friend Josh who I love dearly ALWAYS corrects my spelling on fb chat, texts, etc. While I realize that I am a horrible speller, I think this is smarmy. This is a legitimate question actually. Are blog posts informal enough where one could let a improper capitalization (i vs. I) or “fruit loops [sic]” go? I’m a noob to blogging so blogging etiquette is something that I would actually like to learn in this class.

    Personally, I think you should adopt the K.I.S.S. method and go with what you know (the argumentative essay) for this particular paper. That’s essentially what I’m doing (see reply to your comment on my blog). The reason why I suggest this is not because I don’t think that you should leave your comfort zone and challenge yourself; however, according to the syllabus, this essay is 10% of our grade. Mathematically, this is not going to make or break your grade, however, it is still significant. Reading ahead, the other essays appear to be more ‘non-traditional’ ish so you will have plenty of time to explore different genres, media etc…and through this you will be able to further grow, develop, and challenge this area that you (and I) don’t feel entirely comfortable with. Just a thought 😉

    Great job!

  3. Going off of Shanell’s post, I really like your opening paragraph about choices and how they are shaping the “Why I Write” paper. Your post made me step back and think about the choices I have made in my rough draft and I think its important to do so when critiquing my writing. You should definitely give the narrative style a shot because your last couple of posts have shown that you can/do have a clever and strong narrator.
    Your talk of the readings for Wednesday, as Shanell also says, was on point, and it really related to what you are facing with this paper.

Leave a Reply