No one wants to read a 9,000-word treatise online.

I mean come on Sullivan, you just contradicted yourself. Okay, maybe his essay was a little shorter than 9,000 words, but it was LONG. Anyways, minuscule rant over.

My hopes and dreams for the minor and beyond…hmm…

I think I need to begin by reflecting on what forms my writing has taken on in the past–What I write about, where I write it, why I’ve written, etc. The first thing I thing I remember writing that I was proud of was a song I wrote with my sister in the back seat of my mom’s car on the way to a volleyball tournament when I was in the fifth grade. It was called “Friends Forever” and was as cheesy as it sounds. We thought we were brilliant. The lyrics went like this:

Friends forever, always together

To be the friends we always have been

Never apart, close to the heart, forever…

Even typing that now and admitting to it’s existence is making me cringe behind my screen.

The first thing I wrote that actually was good came out of my head the summer between my freshman and sophomore years of high school. On recommendation from my choir/drama teacher, I attended Showchoir (yes spell check, showchoir is an actual word) Camps of America (SCA) in Tiffin, Ohio. A couple of weeks before my departure, I learned that there was a talent show on the last night of the week where campers could audition to perform for the entire camp and potentially win a scholarship. At this point, I knew I was good at singing, but I did not know I was good at writing. Despite this, I decided to write a song called “Rainfall” to sing for auditions.

When I got into the audition room, the judges seemed to be bored; however, when I asked the accompanist to rise from the piano bench so I could take his place and play a song I wrote, they perked up. Apparently, songwriting does not come as easily to other people as it did not me (a fact I was ignorant to beforehand). When I played the closing chord in the little audition room, I thought I did something wrong. The judges looked confused.

“Wait, that was an original song?”

“You mean, you wrote it?”

“You’re 15?!”

Uhh, yep. That’s when I knew that somewhere in my mind existed a lexicon that could produce something that would leave people speechless. That’s when I knew that I wanted to keep writing forever and ever and never stop. (I won the scholarship)

Since then, I have written countless other songs, short stories, diary entries, and boring essays for class. It definitely hasn’t all been as fun or rewarding as singing at SCA, but I love the feeling of creating something that came purely from inside my head. As I continued writing, I have discovered that while I may be able to stand and sing in front of a big crowd of people, letting them read my writing on a page is extremely intimidating for me.

In the beginning of his essay, Sullivan describes a blog as “a log of thoughts and writing posted publicly on the World Wide Web.” I think it is the public part that bothers me. I have been trying to start a personal blog for the longest time. I get as far to design the website and write up an About Me page, but they always fail when I actually go to switch them from “unpublished” to “published”. I do not like the idea of people getting to see (and inevitably judge) my writing. He also says that, “There is simply no way to write about [events, things, feelings] in real time without revealing a huge amount about yourself.” What if when I reveal things about myself, people don’t like me?

The concept of blogging being instantaneous without much room for editing is also scary. I am not a perfectionist in life, but I am a bit of perfectionist when it comes to my writing. Last week, I started writing my first blog post that will appear on my personal blog when I finally will up the courage to allow someone other than my kitten beanie baby to be in the same space as the words. After reading Sullivan, it is clear to me that this is not the way that he thinks blogging is supposed to go. He says it is supposed to be mostly unedited, but this just doesn’t feel right to me.

To compare different writing styles, Sullivan states that, “A novelist can spend months or years before committing words to the world.” Who knows, maybe I will be a novelist.

Leave a Reply