Reading the two essays titled, “Why I Write,” by George Orwell and Joan Didion, served as the catalyst for the self-realization I had about why I write. They rightfully consider writing to be a selfish process, although I interpret this bold statement differently than Orwell and Didion. Writing is inherently selfish because the author incorporates so much of their own personalities into their work. Whether this inevitable integration of self is intentional or subconscious depends on the writer and how extroverted they are. The concept of “selfish” writing helped me realize my own motives for choosing to be a writing minor. Regardless of the subject, I constantly find myself writing things over and over again to understand them. I would consider my learning style to be writing since I learn best while talking notes and writing information into my own words.
Similarly, writing allows me to learn about myself. When I put my most complex emotions into words, I am able to express feelings I could never say out loud. Perhaps I can fully express myself in writing because I find it very difficult to lie or describe things I don’t truly believe. There’s something about seeing the words in front of me that make them more real than they’d be if I simply said them out loud. Furthermore, I love reading the emotional writing of others, and I always attempt to achieve a level of pathos in my academic essays. When writers appeal to the emotions of their audience, their pieces are more powerful and effective.
In my essay, I want to explore the deep introspective implications writing has on my own understanding of myself, while simultaneously creating an emotional reaction in my audience. I hope to emulate Nicholas Kristof’s descriptive and blunt writing style. I love his honesty and ability to make me picture the people and places he writes about.