Out with the old


I like to think of my writing as soul-tied experience in which I’m reinventing my old self while being introduced to the new self. Sounds easy, however, it is a very difficult realization. I once (once as in a long long time ago; only a year back, oh the lovely ideas of imagination) use to look at myself as a very stupendous writer. I thought I understood the complexities of writing a final draft, not personalizing the red marks on my papers from peers, and being able to draft a quick assignment in a  heartbeat. I was not only cocky as a writer, I was close-minded to any things anew. I disliked the ideas of seriously critiquing my papers and held on to the sentences that brought me to those 5 page papers to begin with. I think that’s what it was, the clutter of the pages was what I loved so much. And honestly after so much priming and drafting, I now can look back on my writing and notice how much of my drafts I didn’t really change back then; I was a writer hoarder. Taken in by textures of poetry, fiction, and characterization, I didn’t want to let go of anything, every word mattered. Every situation mattered as well; from the long lost eboard positions that I had to learn to master, to the hot days of Summer that charmed Markley’s fire alarm catastrophe, I wanted to tell the surface-levels of everything. Without these, these words of meaningless approval from myself (my reader didn’t matter at that moment), my writing was less of nothing. My writing was a mere poof of existence in which no one could possibly understand my words without every single word that my brain pushed out. Oh the perils of Writer Hoarders!


My Writing 220 and English 325 course changed that around thankfully. Not only was I introduced to a gang-load of amazing writers from different genres that critiqued my essays tremendously, I was also introduced to another writer afraid of correction, vulnerability, confusion, and mishaps. This particular writer disliked critiques, didn’t understand the purpose of authenticity, and took over the role of a “great writer that needs no help from anyone else syndrome”. Maybe I’m exaggerating a little bit, but you get my drift. This writer was me, and after weeks of new projects, revisions, peer critiques, deleted words, and run on sentences, this writer infamously known as myself became a little more aware of the type of writer she not only was, but the writer she was destined to be. The inner core of my writing was so close to my soul that I didn’t want to share my experiences with any of my readers. I wanted to showcase how great of a writer I was, without mentioning my life experiences to get there. I was lost in a sphere of thinking I knew where I was and once I found myself (naked page, blinking cursor, easy prompt), I realized that in order to be a great writer, I had to dig deep. I had to open myself up, trust my feelings as they were placed onto paper, and appreciate my readers for understanding the crazy that is me. I like to think of this new-found self writer as someone who has layers of texture; crunchy, sweet, dense, savory, tasty, complex, and simple. Some say, “out with the old, in with the new”. I say, “my progress as a writer reminds me of a fried Oreo; the textures correspond to whatever taste I want”. Delicious.

3 thoughts to “Out with the old”

  1. “This particular writer disliked critiques, didn’t understand the purpose of authenticity, and took over the role of a ‘great writer that needs no help from anyone else syndrome’.”

    Kalynn, I feel like I could have written this very same sentence! This writer was also me, and to some extent, still is.

    At the time, you probably thought you were the only one, but I would imagine that writers with our tendencies are probably more common than we think. However, just from reading your blog post I can see how much you’ve grown as a writer, as your style epitomizes the openness and trust you mention as an ideal. If in order to be a great writer you have to “dig deep,” I would say that the writing above demonstrates that you’re well on your way.

  2. Much like Joe said, I think that writers of this variety are very common as well! It’s a very human tendency to defend that which we created, especially if it has a personal element to it. Personally, I can’t even show my writing to my own parents just because I know very well that they’re my best critics. I truly admire your acknowledgement that writing is sharing your full self, even if it means opening yourself to judgment from others. Also, I loved your fried Oreo for a few reasons–1. it’s so much better than the onion cliche and 2. all I want to do right now is eat an Oreo. Also, I hear Lauren helped you pick the featured images 🙂

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