Why Do I Write?

This week I’m definitely thinking about the Why I Write project the most. Most evident, I’m thinking about why I write. But I’m also thinking about the position the assignment has put me in, in general.

Not only do I have to consider why I write, I have to write about it. My ideas about the purpose of my writing are being formed and organized in writing. I find myself in a weird, almost self-aware, position where I’m using writing to figure out why I write in the first place. It’s a question I didn’t really think about until we read the pieces by Orwell and Didion. They both discussed why they write, which seemed to me to be rational and for a good purpose. They are both respected and accomplished writers, so it makes sense to me why they would explain what they think their purpose is. It feels strange for me to explain why I write in their company.

And now, this blog post prompt is asking me to write about thinking about writing about why I write. I feel like I’m in a cyclic motion of thinking and writing, then thinking about why I’m writing and writing about what I’m thinking. It’s a complex situation that all feeds into itself, fueling a hyper conscious project. I can’t think of another situation that would be like this. I can’t create a math problem about thinking about math. I suppose I could draw or paint a piece about drawing or painting, but I don’t think it would be the same. I don’t think it would be possible to visually represent the levels of thought/writing/writing about thought/thought about writing, that exists in this project and this post. It would be too complicated to visually represent, and would probably require something written to explain it.

I think that I’m enjoying the position I’m in; it’s forcing me to think and consider things on a deeper level than I even have before. But at the same time it’s a little frustrating. It’s difficult to start writing about why I write when I don’t really know how to explain it. I don’t even know if I’m explaining it well now. I’m writing to figure out my writing. This project has kind of taken on a life of its own. Is it determining itself? Is it influencing me more than I;m influencing it? Am I thinking about it way too much? Probably a combination of all of the above, and some things I can’t even imagine.

Shannon Vail

I am a senior Art History major who thoroughly enjoys cooking, traveling, beagles and Buffalo sports.

3 thoughts to “Why Do I Write?”

  1. Hi Shannon,

    I can totally relate to you. It is truly a process to which you may consider trusting the journey becasue it is very confusing. I found myself in a very reflective state in gateway trying to figure out the “why” of everything and still I am here in the capstone. It doesnt stop but it does get easier to understand yourself and what you are actually trying to say. Dont be mismayed or overwhelmed but frustration is totally normal.

    I have a few suggestions that may be able to help you swallow the pill that is the writing minor.
    1) Do not stop writing
    2) Think and then write whats truly on your mind. It may lead you to something unexpected, but you only know once you trust it
    3) Trust the Process: By capstone youll be fine…maybe lol jk
    4) If you feel you are frustrated or cnfused write through it not around it. Your feelings are valid an apart of your voice as writer. Use it!

    If you need anymore advice feel free to message me. Good luck!

  2. Dear Shannon,

    I agree that it’s a really complex question to answer, particularly because there are so many different ways to answer it. I think this assignment really forced us to come to one cohesive conclusion woven around a guiding point, and I’ve definitely enjoyed that challenge. I guess until I started working on the paper I didn’t realize there was one guiding purpose that permeates throughout all of my writing, but it turns out there is!

  3. I think you perfectly captured what I felt writing the Why I Write paper. Its weird how you’re writing about why you write and within that process you’re understanding it. but of course to form that argument, you’re constrained by the writing. I think it might to a good idea to incorporate some of your points in here into your paper. That relationship, that hyper consciousness, is probably key to why you write. But that attempt to capture something/explain something, is key to why I write. There’ s a challenge in there, and in many ways I probably feel misunderstood at times, or desiring to understand something fully. So I definitely relate to that.

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