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.

3 thoughts to “Bridging the Gap?!”

  1. Ron, I started out my thought process for this paper nearly the same as you. My first thought was, I write because I enjoy it. I also found difficultly pushing past that initial thought and finding the reasons I enjoy writing.

    I also find that turning one’s reasoning into something that is easy to read can be a weighty challenge. I often find that I don’t have my thoughts refined enough to explain them well to someone else (this is always a stage I struggle through when drafting a paper for a philosophy class). One thing a professor recommended doing at this point is to write out what you know–your ideas, intuitions, questions and look for the relationships between them using arrows or connecting words to show the relationships. I’ve done it a couple times and found it really useful.

    Also, I completely agree with what you said about Baldwin. For Christmas, a friend got me a physics book called Fabric of the Cosmos. I’ve never taken a physics class before and this thing talks about relativity and quantum mechanics. But I can understand the theories with almost no physics background because the author uses examples like the Simpsons to explain things, and writes in a simpler, less academic way. How to do that is another challenge I have yet to solve. But I think it can make your work connect with a much broader audience.

  2. Ron,

    I definitely sympathize with your thoughts about the derivations of your love of writing. I would completely agree that the more I do something, the more that particular habit grows on me. I would like to think that this is because the more one does something the better one gets at it. Obviously we are similar in that we are drawn to things that we feel we will be successful at.

    I can also empathize with the intimidating nature that one feels when attempting to emulate an author, or style of writing that one respects. I also think that you have adopted the perfect attitude about what this experience will mean to you. Too often people become intimidated and then shy away from the task at hand, for fear of failure. However, you correctly state that you will use whatever product you produce (whether good or bad), and use it as a foundation for future successful writing.

    In writing my blog for this week, I came to somewhat of a similar conclusion as you have. Sometimes the solutions to my problems will come to me naturally. However, I was wondering if you are able to expand on this, and describe what exactly this process entails? It is a difficult question, but are there particular processes or situations which stimulate this natural “eureka moment?” I would be interested in your thoughts, because as I’m sure you will agree, the time frame in which you are unsure of the direction of the paper can be very uncomfortable.

    1. Skylar,

      Now that I’ve completed the first draft of this essay with reflective comments I think I can tell you about how I “bridged the gap”. As you know, I was stuck, so I started to draw upon other experiences to help me through this experience. After a period of denial, I started thinking about how a traditional 5 paragraph argumentative essay should be structured. There was a period of denial because when I wrote the first part of my essay, I was trying my best to avoid using any of the rhetoric commonly found in argumentative essays. I didn’t want to use it because I didn’t really think I was arguing anything in this essay. However, when it came to bridging the gap, I ended up using some of that rhetoric to help me solve my problem.

      There is no easy way to explain how I did this, but it’s almost as if the first few paragraphs of my essay took the place of typical quotations used to formulate a cohesive argument. A properly structured argument includes the successful integration of outside sources to help validate your argument. After successfully integrating the sources, reflection on them is necessary to explain their relevance in your argument. But I had trouble thinking of this as a purely argumentative essay because I couldn’t answer the following question: Who or what outside resource would be more relevant in an essay concerning “Why I Write” other than myself and my personal experiences? However, although this process of thinking took me far, it didn’t help me get over the bridge I was stuck at when I wrote this blog. Then I thought about how-if this were a typical argumentative essay-I’d tie my story into my main argument.

      Thinking about that led me to the solution of my problem, writing a paragraph that I think spoke directly to my thesis. The paragraph provided the perfect transition into the first concrete reason why I like to write. I don’t know if I’d classify that as a “eureka” moment, but it worked out fine for me. From there, I go on to cite other reasons why I write and I reflect upon the importance of those reasons.

      When I was legitimizing my reasoning for why I like to write I was drawing upon some of the themes mentioned both explicitly and implicitly in the first few paragraphs. I wrote about my personal experiences in the beginning in an effort to emulate Baldwin. I thought if I wrote about personal experiences and then tied them into my concrete reasoning later in my essay my audience would more than likely empathize with me. I think my essay is substantive because I integrate the two entities together in a cohesive manner.

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