According to Lynn Hunt, picking up a pen is crucial to writing even if you don’t know what you are writing about. After reading her article, I look at the Minor in Writing program as a gum-ball machine that takes in students and spits out a multitude of writers, different but all colorful. Writing over and over and over again (not just studying HOW to write but concretely putting words on paper) forces us to grow out of three-point theses and five paragraph formats. We have the potential to discover our own voices, styles, and preferred genres instead of writing thirty versions of the same prompt. I love Hunt’s point that when you write a thought “you think of something you did not know you could or would think.” That’s where the growth happens. That’s where you discover who you are. That’s what distinguishes orange gum-balls from blue ones. Like any other skill, writing takes practice and the minor offers us a chance to do just that through molding an entire body of work in the form of an ePortfolio.
Hunt also challenges us to be authentic. In other words, if your writing sucks you’re probably trying to write like someone else. A major goal I have this year is to discover who I want to be as a writer and stay true to that person. On many accounts, I’ve tried to emulate great authors because I believed if their writing is good, I should probably write like them. But writing is not a one-size fits all. As Hunt points out, mistakes comes from not discovering what YOU think, what your beliefs are. On my quest for authenticity, I aim for creativity as well. With a ton of platforms and mediums to communicate on, writing is a practically limitless convention (as long as we abide by the rules of grammar, kind of). Tweeting, blogging, journaling, websites, text messages, emails, ink pens, etc all give us the chance to think outside the box and communicate our message differently. In this program, I hope to utilize these tools to create something meaningful beyond an MLA formatted essay.
In short, writing fosters identity. It’s a skill that must be relentlessly worked towards by simply just writing. But to be able to create something that is truly your own proves incredibly satisfying in the end.