How They Write

The “How I Write” event on Monday was so cool. Although I overslept and fumbled into my chair half an hour late, I was instantly drawn into the situation at hand. Were we all really surrounding a real-life, writer? I mean, was this really one of those zealous people who made their love for writing into a low-paid, non-academic career? One-by-one, everyone in my group asked Perry James, a blogger in his senior year at Michigan, a question. I was cringing in my seat. I already had so many questions, but I knew given the circumstances, I can only choose to ask one. So I thought of the least generic questions one could ask a writer and it was, “how do you organize your writings on your computer?” His response to my questions made me feel better about my messy pile of random documents stored on my computer. He was especially organized and obviously found meaning in keeping his system that way. However, based on the look on my peers, no one else seemed as interested in this question. But they don’t understand that my questions was not only asked with the purpose of my technological question. By hearing his response to my question, I felt more related to him. By having some of connection with what he said, I left the How I Write session feeling like I have a chance. A writer became less of a distant, impersonal figure or expectations. Everything felt possible.

And I think, every once in a while, it is important to constantly remind yourself that things are possible and even the most gifted, different, or unusual is human.

When I hopped over to the next table, I caught Laura Atkins, I think that was her name, stating, “Not every idea is going to become something”. This point is also important when it comes to writing, an act that depends on ideas to survive and grow. Writing is not self-sustainable without a constant flow of ideas.


2 thoughts to “How They Write”

  1. I can relate to your messy organization of documents on your computer. I always have the intentions of creating special folders for things, but rarely end up putting documents where they belong.
    It is interesting to think about the relatability of a writer. Because we rarely ever see the author when we are writing, I often see the author as only a voice. I think it is important to see an author as relatable, though, because it makes us see that what they are writing can be subjective or human or inspired by something else. When I read other students writing, I picture them while reading, which changes the experience. It makes them seem in reach, not inhuman.

  2. Regina,

    I, too, have an absurd amount of documents circulating my computer. It seems whenever I write an essay, I will have multiple drafts, an outline document, and then a few documents that contain things that didn’t make it to the final product. Not all that organized—you’re not alone!

    I also like how you referred to them as a “real-life writer.” Yes, they are individuals that have decided to dedicate their lives to the art of writing. But I also think that the context we were put into shaped the way we viewed Melody and Perry. Perry is still an undergraduate student, but because he was a guest at an event we attended, we distinguished him to have some sort of “authority.” Cool to think about.

    Lastly, I like the idea of “possibility” you mention. I agree. I think that sometimes we have to stick by our writing. Give it time. But because we enjoy to write, I think it is important to stay positive through the highs and lows.


Leave a Reply