Bridging the Gap?!

The answer to the question “Why do I write” is simple for me, I write because I like to do it. The next logical question in the sequence is “Why do I like to write”; I like to write because I have been writing for as long as I can remember.  I am a very habitual person, and typically the more I do something the more I like it.  After all, if I don’t like to do something I will find a way to do as little of it as possible.

After answering the two main questions I had to figure out how to express myself about them in a way I am content with.  As I sat brainstorming to find a way to write the essay I thought about Baldwin and how he writes.  I admire how Baldwin sometimes integrates an easily relatable blurb into his writings that can be tied back into the main focus of his work later on.  I think Baldwin is a genius and I think it’s a great idea for a writer to integrate something easy to understand into their writing while still not losing sight of the scholarly purpose of their work.  After reading something I can easily relate to life experiences have shown me that the likelihood of me losing interest in what is to come in the work drops significantly.  In addition, when a writer successfully ties their main point and the easily relatable thing together, I think the work resonates with a reader more.  I know that’s why I get lost in the words for Baldwin and other authors I like to read, because I highly anticipate how they are going to tie the two entities together.  When I started writing my essay, I told myself I was going to emulate that rhetoric.  I may fail miserably, or I may have success, but I know that I will try and I will have a foundation to build upon in the future.

When I started this essay it wasn’t really difficult at all because the beginning of the essay involved a lot of reflection.  Reflection is easy for me to do because I do it a lot. Every Sunday, I reflect on how my life went in the previous week in the form of a short blurb.  I tried to emulate Baldwin and write something easy to read in my essay, and as it turned out, that was easy to write.  However, when I started trying to bridge the gap between what’s easy to read and the actual concrete reasoning I need to express to legitimize why I like to write, it was hard.  I am still at this point in my essay right now.  I haven’t really thought about how I am going to bridge the gap, I think it will just come naturally.

It will be difficult for me to find a final written draft that I’ll be happy with because I am quite the perfectionist.  It is a satisfying feeling knowing this essay will undergo revisions by my peers.  Last week the thought that people whom I actually know were going to comment on my specific blog post was a little nerve wrecking.  However now-since I’ve read, given, and received some feedback on this blog-I honestly believe any feedback given in this space is thought provoking, genuine, and helpful.  This is a very satisfying thought and it makes me optimistic for my development as a writer.

What Does it Really Mean

I really like when writers use metaphors and symbolism because I like to think outside of the box. I think metaphors and other forms of symbolism add to the allure of writing because they stimulate thought. Metaphors force readers to think about the main idea of what is written and also how the metaphor relates to the text as a whole. They often stimulate discussion because the interpretation of the metaphor often varies from person to person. The piece that resonated with me the most from the readings this week was Andrew Sullivan’s “Why I Blog”. What stood out to me about Sullivan was his writing style and his use of metaphors, he made me think outside of the box. I respect blogging as a discipline a lot more now that I have read and reflected on Andrew Sullivan’s piece.

Sullivan had a few metaphors in his piece that I thought were interesting, but one stood out to me more than the others. Sullivan compared being a good blogger to being a good host of a dinner party. I was baffled when I first read over this idea and I thought being the host of a dinner party and being a blogger couldn’t be more different. I was forced to ask myself, what does being cordial and food really have to do with writing a blog? Sullivan forced me to think outside of the box to try to find a relationship between the two.  Sullivan provided a brief sentence to justify the correlation between the two, and after reading it, I was able to find the relationship between them well. The objective of a dinner party host is to create a hospitable environment, while at the same time, engaging in honest and thought provoking conversation with your guests. Healthy conversation will lead to some agreements and some disagreements, but as a host, your main duty is to remain as respectful as possible in an effort to ensure that your guests remain comfortable. Similarly, as a blogger Sullivan wants to make readers feel comfortable enough with what he is saying to comment on his writing, while remaining honest and respectful. I didn’t think it was possible to find any similarities between two things like being a dinner party host and being a blogger, but Sullivan forced me to think outside of the box and I appreciate that ability in a writer.

The short piece I decided to bring in to class 1/11/12 is a letter written by James Baldwin. I appreciate Baldwin’s abilities as a writer as well. In the letter, Baldwin is writing to his nephew in 1965, 100 years after the Emancipation. The reason why it resonates with me so much is because the topics Baldwin discusses in the letter are important in the history of my race. When I read this letter I feel like the words are more than just words on a page. I feel like I am in another world when reading Baldwin, his words sometimes makes me forget where I am, all I can think about is what I am reading. I know it won’t be easy, but I want to be able to write like he does. This note from Baldwin was special to me because he was writing it to his nephew; a young boy who Baldwin knows has a long future ahead of him. Baldwin knew that if he could make an impact on his nephew’s life at a young age he could help make his thoughts conducive to living prosperous life as an African American male despite racial prejudices in the world around him.

In Orwell’s piece he talks about the importance of a writer’s influences in their early life when thinking about their writing. James Baldwin was a homosexual African American man subjected to a substantial amount of racism and discrimination throughout his life for his beliefs. As a result of the discrimination he was faced with, he spent a lot of time alone, refining his thoughts and perusing through books and his mind looking for what his purpose was in life. He eventually left America and went to France to find a better life for himself and to become a better writer. It is sad things got to be that difficult for Baldwin, but his early life experiences and his beliefs made him the man he was. I actually think more highly of him as person and as a writer knowing that he went through so much in his life.  He is a one of the best writers I’ve ever encountered and he is extremely thought-provoking.