After reading a few “Why I Write” essays, I stumbled upon a short yet emotional Voices of Youth blog post written by an Indonesian student named Niken Afifah.
I particularly enjoyed this piece for its simplicity and vigorous injection of pathos: “I write because it is the cheapest and safest way to express myself: my sadness, my anger, my hatred, as well as my secret wishes, my dreams.” Afifah’s alluding to the importance of writing to express mental health connects with me most personally. It really makes me think about why I write. Specifically, it makes me think about what brings my voice out the most in my writing.
Niken also brings up an interesting point about growth and development: “I write because I can reread those words a few hours later, nine days later, nine weeks later, nine months later, or nine years later, and feel differently each time.” He can see the progress not only in his writing but also in his mental health, mindset, and quality of life. What he has written about in the past reminds him of struggle and perseverance so that he can cherish and value where he is now even more.
After reading Niken’s post, I looked through the Minor in Writing Blog for previous Gateway students’ portfolios. I came across my friend Emily Kuchman’s portfolio and really enjoyed her Why I Write essay. Specifically, I loved its structure, which I think could have strengthened Niken’s post even more. Emily’s piece is fun to read. You can hear a sincere and passionate voice. It’s funny, authentic and detailed — I strive for an approach just like this.
Emily shares that it all began with being an avid reader. It makes me think about what it was that really made me want to write at a young age. Reading? Constant thoughts running across my mind? I look forward to exploring this in an essay of my own.
While I enjoyed reading Didion’s and Orwell’s insights, I picked up and connected with key thoughts from international students like Niken and MiW students like Emily.