Why I Write (response)

I started by reading Orwell’s piece and immediately identified with his comment on how he initially produced “made-to-order stuff” for people when he wrote. I feel like that is the majority of what I end up writing, especially in the hectic college scene where I am required to churn out dozens of papers in a certain format. However, Orwell goes on to break down the reasons writers have the impulse to write when they are not being forced to. I thought his four reasons were very insightful. One of the only times I currently find myself not writing for class is when I jot down a sentence or two about my day in order to preserve my memories for later reflection. I feel like this tendency is similar to the “historical impulse” Orwell describes – I want to keep these facts/moments about my day for later use.

I found Didion’s piece to be humorous, yet a little hard to follow or relate to. Although I did not really identify with her comment that she writes to answer questions that she does not know the answers to, I found it intriguing and a great look into the mind of a published author.

Sullivan’s piece on why he blogs was refreshing because, until now, I have never blogged. It was fascinating to read his description and interpretation of what blogging is. I think I will try to remember his comment that blogging is “writing out loud” whenever I have to blog over the course of the writing minor. I appreciated the reasons he described for why he blogs and can see why this can be an appealing way to write and garner many readers and instant feedback. However, I sometimes find it hard to hear other’s criticisms, so I think that this could be a rude shock to me if I ever start blogging more religiously!

3 thoughts to “Why I Write (response)”

  1. I could not agree more on how it feels as if all I write is made to order. This is obviously a requirement if one wants to fulfill a rubric and earn a decent grade, but still unfortunate at times. Thankfully some professors are lenient on how subject matter is addressed. This class will be a nice relief from the monotony of typical college writing.

  2. Andrea,

    I completely felt the same way and resonated immediately with Orwell’s comment about “made to order” writing. In the life of a college student, almost all of the writing that we do is “made to order”. We are consistently expected to churn out term papers with the same dull format and restrictive guidelines. That is one reason why I am so excited to be in this class! I love that we will have the freedom to express ourselves and use our creativity to experiment with new genres of writing and have the chance to really find our voices as writers. Being able to partake in this form of self-expression, similar to what Sullivan was discussing in reference to blogging, will be a refreshing and exciting exercise for all of us!

  3. Your comment on Orwell’s “historical impulse” reoccurs often in my own life. However, you describe your use of this tendency as simply jotting down a few words for later use. I find myself keeping any and all pictures, tickets, receipts, notes etc. that remind me of happy times. Here is a great difference between you and I, organization. You jot down a few words for later use. I keep and entire junk draw full of ridiculous possessions only to preserve the memories each of them hold. You are organized, I am a hoarder.
    I find this problem in my writing as well. Once I create an idea or sentence, I can not part with it. I need to work on letting go of both possessions and sentences.
    Help me become more organized, like you.

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