Holy Self-reflection, Batman

I am the queen of procrastination. That’s just a fact. So naturally, on Wednesday night I had to write not only my “Why I Write” essay for Writing 220, I also had to write a professional statement for my English 229 course on professional writing. Do you know how dreadful it is to just write about yourself for hours on end? You begin to judge yourself a lot and think about how you are selling yourself as a person. Plus this song kept running through my head courtesy of the Muppets (I know I am 21-years old, but the Muppets are always phenomenal).

The entire night I felt so incredibly self-absorbed. And let me tell you, that’s actually very intimidating. I spent the whole night evaluating myself and my life decisions: what makes me Louise? How do I define myself? Why do I write? What do I want to do with my life? It is an absolute whirlwind. I guess that’s what growing up is though— you have to figure out who you are, create a name for yourself, and stick to it.

Now while the “Why I Write” assignment was fun to create, my professional statement left me second-guessing myself. Allow me to give you some context: I am the only Communication Studies major and Writing minor in my professional writing course. The rest of the students come from the Business School, the College of Engineering, the School of Kinesiology, and, of course, the myriad of other majors in LSA. I look around the room and I know that I am one of the only students in that class who reads and writes 24/7. I’m not exaggerating when I say that is ALL I do. My peers want to go into the business world, the medical field, or grad school while I sit by myself saying, “I’m going to move to New York to be a writer.” That holds a lot of clout— I just exude confidence.

I think that’s why it is hard writing about my profession, simply because my profession will revolve around writing, so I feel the need to prove myself in everything I write. I put so much pressure on myself to be that much better, and to make my writing stand out that much more because it IS my life. Guess what my extracurricular activities are: yup, writing. Guess what I do in class: you guessed it, I write. Guess what I do in my journal every night before I go to bed: ding, ding, ding, we have a winner— I write.

I don’t do science, I don’t work well with numbers, and I will avoid business like it is the plague. I am just venturing down an unconventional path; I swear people suppress a laugh when I say I want to write for a magazine. But at least I have goals, at least I am striving for something, and at least I am doing something that I absolutely love to do and that comes to me as naturally as breathing.

I had these epiphanies when I was writing the two highly self-reflective pieces. I was thinking about my smart and talented peers going into all of these exciting fields, some of which I have never even heard about. And then I look at my life: I sit on my computer, I hunch over a notebook, I curl up in bed, and I write. But hey, I guess when you find something you love you don’t need much else. I mean, there’s really nothing to be jealous about, I am happy that I can look at my peers and know that they will be doing such great things and changing the world, because I sure as hell couldn’t do it in the same capacity they will. No, I’m going to stick with what I’m good at, what I love to do, and just keep writing.

4 thoughts to “Holy Self-reflection, Batman”

  1. Hi Louise!

    This post hit very close to home with me, as I am also a Communications major/Writing minor and similarly struggled with the Personal Statement in 229. I completely agree that writing about yourself is the most difficult part. I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that, as students who spend our time studying the changing behaviors and connections of others, we very rarely turn it around and observe ourselves. Your voice was very strong in this piece and it was really enjoyable to read!

    Caroline

  2. Add another to the Comm major/Writing minor list! I’m in the same boat. I love the title, it’s witty and really grabbed my attention. I understand your frustration when telling people you want to write for a magazine. People too often label it a “dying breed,” but writers like us can prove them wrong! Your passion for writing shines through here, it’s a great read.

    Lauren

  3. While my college career has allowed for an immense amount of growth and change, I feel like throughout it, procrastination has been one of the biggest obstacles I’ve had to face. I think that you raise a great point about the pursual of a career that you know you want to be a part of, and that you know that it is something that will make you happy, regardless of prestige or outside pressures and predetermined stereotypes regarding jobs. I think that you hit on one of the unique appeals and aspects of writing however, and that it is in itself a very reflective tool, occupation, and hobby. Writing is a unique tool where you can not only use it to openly share and express your thoughts, but it can also act as a gateway to learn about yourself and those around you at the same time. I found that the “Why I Write” essay not only helped me learn and focus in on why I actually write, but it also helped me extrapolate some of that information and use it to learn what motivates me in broader terms, and not just exclusively as a writer. Definitely enjoyed your blog though.

    On an equally important note, you can never be too old for the muppets.

  4. Louise,
    First of all, this piece was excellent. It was honest and self-reflecting, but not self-serving or whiny. Sometimes that can be hard to do, so well done. Also, I found this post interesting and relatable. I too hope to be a writer in the future and I often find that people’s reactions to that proclamation can be unfavorable. One of my roommates is an engineer and the other is pre-med. So when I mention that I’m an English major with a writing minor, many people wonder how and why I’m friends with them. I spend all of my time writing papers while they are off studying equations and doing research in labs. I guess what this comment is getting at is that I completely understand where you’re coming from and I appreciate you sharing your experiences. It’s nice to know I’m not alone. Thanks!

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