Elephants Were my Favorite Animals Until I Discovered Polar Bears

I have always been fascinated with Flannery O’Connor. I’m not exactly sure why, and I’m not exactly sure when it began. Something about her prose and the way she uses metaphor-ridden foreshadowing really gets me going like nothing else. I had already read a lot of “Mystery and Manners”, but this specific section was extremely interesting a second time around.

One of O’Connor’s main claims is that most people are interested in either writing or the act of being a writer. For me, being a writer has never actually crossed my mind. For some reason, making a living off of the thoughts and scribbles I jot down for pleasure seems a little like cheating the system. It would be akin to profiting from chatting with friends, or from eating pizza. Something that brings me so much inner happiness should be used to fill my soul, not my pockets. Don’t get me wrong; some people are meant to be writers. They have messages to share that will benefit others just as much (if not more) than benefiting themselves. I’m too selfish for that. My writing is for me.

In a way, O’Connor captured the Gateway class perfectly. Each week, we are presented with different artists who hold different views on the subject of writing. I find myself really identifying with someone, but the next week, I change my views to completely line up with someone else. Some may call me fickle, but I think honestly, I just do not know how I feel about writing yet. I know what I like to read, and I know what I like to discuss but, until now, writing has been a gray area that I do not quite understand.

As Flannery described, I like to think that I aim to create art and then cross my fingers that the truth flows naturally from within it.

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