Writing about Writing

When composing my “Why I Write” paper, I did not anticipate experiencing the struggles that I have been.  For me, I have never actually sat back and thought about why I write; I just simply wrote because I had to—because that’s what I was instructed to do.

In writing this paper, however, I have realized how far I have come as a writer and how much I’ve learned about myself through writing.  This assignment brought me back to my K-12 days when I used to write out my essays on lined, loose-leaf paper and then beg my mother to type them for me because I had the typing accuracy of a blind octopus and it would take me hours to type what she could in ten minutes.  When she did type up my papers, however, she did not do me the liberty of cleaning up my grammar or punctuation mistakes so I still had to go back and mull over my typed up writing for imperfections and errors.

For me, this essay is becoming very introspective as to why I have become the kind of writer that that I am.  I start out by asking “Why do you write?” as a sort of way to get the reader thinking about their own motives as well as opening a window to how I began to write the essay myself.  I continue with, “Is it because writing serves as an escape for you to express the feelings that you’d otherwise keep bottled up inside?  Is it because you communicate better with others through the written word rather than the spoken?  Is writing something you either read or create solely on a leisurely basis? Can you only understand your thoughts and the world around you by writing about them?”  By using this string of questions as part of my introduction, I hoped to encompass a wide array of reasons as to why I believe that other people write.  I must admit that though the above reasons may fit into most people’s rationale for writing, none of them are actually my reason.

As I continue with my writing of this essay, I am at a point where I have to explain not only why I write for class (because I literally have to), but also why I write in the mini-blogging sphere that is Twitter.  For me, Twitter serves as a way for me to communicate with the masses while also occasionally venting/expressing my emotions.  Regardless of the writing medium, however, I find myself slaving over word choice, grammar usage and spelling in the name of accuracy and the pride found within it—similarly to the likes of Didion in her own piece titled, “Why I Write.”  It is a massive pet peeve of mine when people post something for the viewing of their “followers” or “friends” and have inaccuracies or misspellings in their writing.  It’s called PROOFREADING!

With that aside, I plan to simply take my time in constructing this portion of my paper so that I don’t come off as too offensive or insensitive.  Being so “audience conscious” in my writing, however, leads to extra time spent ironing out the wrinkles.  This leads to another problem I’m having in writing this paper (and all other papers I’ve ever encountered)—I’m a perfectionist, for better or for worse.

2 thoughts to “Writing about Writing”

  1. I definitely agree with you in that this paper has been much more challenging that I expected it to be. I really love how you brought up the fact that you are not only explaining why you write academically, but also explaining why you write socially. Like you, I too am a perfectionist. What does that mean? That means when I sit on facebook or twitter for an unreasonable amount of time (like most college students) but I’m not playing farmville or stalking that one girl I met at a party last weekend, but rather I like to take in how many people our age STILL don’t know the difference between “your” and “you’re” or “its” and “its”. In all honesty, the frequency these mistakes are made is quite appalling. Does anyone else agree?

  2. I like that you started your thinking with how you wrote as a child. That is what I focused on when I was writing my draft. I thought about the stories I have of writing as a young person and how those shape my writing today. Yours shows that in how you had to go over all you mistakes after your papers were typed, and now you are a perfectionist even on twitter. It’s always interesting to see how people’s past has shaped them.

    As far as the perfectionist conversation goes, I cannot say that I relate. I wish I was more of a perfectionist and a detail focused person, but I must admit I am sort of a scatterbrain. When I’m thinking about one thing about five others pop into my head and then I forget the first thing I was thinking about. The same is true with writing and proofreading. I can’t stay focused on grammar long enough when I’m reading or writing half of the time. It’s interesting that you bring Didion into the thoughts about perfectionism and grammar because she did seem obsessive about her work, which seems to be a common theme among some writers.

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