You’re asking who I am as a writer? That makes two of us.

Preface: This is essentially a free-write where I drone on about my “evolution” as a writer, which I’m going to work on for my final essay.

I came into college freshman year Hell-bent on becoming the next Erin Andrews. Looking back at it, I might want to stop saying she was my role model because she shot herself in the foot career-wise. But that’s beside the bigger point here, which is that I wanted to be a sports broadcaster in the worst way. I thought it was so appealing to be on television talking about sports 24/7, but then I found out that it wasn’t all I had chalked it up to be.

After a year and a half chasing that dead-end dream, I decided to switch gears. The greater majority of women in my family are/were in the education field, so naturally I thought about teaching. The only bad part about this idea is that I have about as much patience as a hungry lion standing by an unarmed zookeeper- AKA, not a whole lot.

Finally in the fall of my junior year, I was thinking about writing for a magazine. I write for two publications on campus, so it felt natural to continue this progression after I graduate. Except I have fallen victim to what the kids call “burning out.” Now I am a year away from graduation, writing editorial pieces is growing old, and I haven’t the foggiest idea of where to direct my life.

All that I’m trying to say with this is that my evolution as a college student has been pretty normal. I’m 21 years old and I still have no clue what I want to do when I grow up. All I honestly know is that I’ve been writing throughout this entire journey, for whatever that’s worth.

That sounds rather blazé, but it’s true. These past few semesters I’ve been trying to figure out the importance of having my writing by my side, and working on my minor in writing has only emphasized this more. It’s odd because I’m not quite sure where I sit with writing. Hearing my classmates talk about writing novels or screenplays in their free time makes me feel inadequate, but I think that might be the beauty of writing— it has different meanings for everyone. For me, it’s just something I do, like it’s an extension of myself. I never try to be extremely formal when I write, because, like, what’s the fun in that? Maybe that’s the wrong way of saying that; I just include my personality in everything I write. For instance, I’ve never been one to write a boring introduction, there always has to be a cultural reference or a witty remark (at least it’s witty in my mind).

That being said, writing on this blog all semester has really allowed me to do me (YOLO). The way I see it, there is only so much of your own voice that you can put into an article about a Michigan athlete (a lot of what I write for the yearbook). While it is fun to try to find a new angle to cover a story, nothing really compares to just being completely me in my writing, which I can do in a blog. I feel like Julie Andrews in The Sound of Music when she is singing “The Hills are Alive” and dancing in the field of flowers, except I would be having a severe allergic reaction to nature if that were the literal case.

After writing this, I’ve realized I don’t really like calling the past couple of years my “evolution as a writer.” I don’t think that’s the right term. It probably doesn’t sit well with me because I just think of humans evolving from monkeys…thanks Charles Darwin. I just don’t think it’s analogous with my situation. I haven’t really changed, transformed, or become this supreme writer, and I think “evolution” signifies coming from the bare minimum. Instead, I like to think of my life as a map-less road trip where my writing is my only fuel. I don’t really have a final destination in mind, but when I make it there, I’ll be home.

3 thoughts to “You’re asking who I am as a writer? That makes two of us.”

  1. Erin Andrews will always be a goddess, whether on ESPN or as the current co-host of Dancing with the Stars (guilty pleasure, and she’s far superior at the post-dance interviews than Brooke Burke was…but anyways moving on).

    I always love reading your blog posts because I feel like we are in such a similar place with our writing situations. We love it, but have no idea what to do with it. And when I read so many of my similar thoughts in your pieces, it makes me feel better and like I’m allowed to have no idea if I want to write professionally or keep it a hobby or put down my figurative pen (let’s be real, I only write on my laptop) forever. So I think it’s great you can reflect on your evolution, or lack thereof as it may be, and remain at peace with it.

  2. This post made me feel so much better about being completely clueless about what I’m going to do with my life. I can’t decide what I want to use writing for, if it’s feasible and will pay my bills, or if I even want to go into a writing field at all.

    I really like your road trip analogy, but I think that there are always at least small changes that happen in any subject, even writing, and that’s how I think about evolution. It doesn’t have to be starting from the bare minimum; it is the sum of a large amount of small changes. I think if you look back on your old writing, you’ll notice a few things that you used to do that perhaps you don’t include anymore, or something that you always do now that you never used to. These are the things that make up the process of evolving.

    (Also I could talk for days about how humans didn’t evolve from monkeys, we only share an ancestor…but I’m going to refrain from geeking out because I’m sure everyone’s heard it before)

    But hey, road trips are cool too!

  3. Louise,

    I really enjoy your destruction of the “evolution” we are supposed to be mapping as a writer and how you’re so honest about your “journey” with writing. Like most of us who have a knack for writing but not the slightest idea of where to take it for a career, I could relate to your worries. I always tell everyone that I want to write for a travel magazine and then work on cruise ships as a cruise director, and if that doesn’t work out then my options are pretty narrow.
    I think you really honed down the point that writing will always be there for us no matter how many times we change or major or how uncertain of the future we may be. Especially with your style, which exudes personality, you will have many options of how writing can help you land a job or whatever is you want to do after college. I think just being in the minor illustrates this well for us too. We can write, and the more we write the better we can hope to be.

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