Roll The Windows Down, And Enjoy the Ride

On the first day of Writing 220 class, I remember the feeling of being in way over my head. We were asked to talk a little bit about our favorite books and our favorite authors, and my answer came up short. In all honesty, I am not much of a reader. When I was little, I was more interested in playing outside than sitting down and reading a book. That character trait has stayed with me into college, and I still do not devote much of my leisure time to books. Although reading was never a huge passion of mine, my love for writing has only grown over the years. I get bothered by the fact that there is an assumption that people become writers because they love to read; can’t I become a writer because I just love to write?

After getting home from class that night, I started doing some research about famous authors (embarrassing, I know), in case we were again asked about this topic in a future class. I wanted to be able to fit in and not admit the fact that I don’t devote much, if any of my free time to books. Looking back on this now, I am more mad at my past self for trying to morph into a stereotypical writer and fit in, than I am about the absence of novels on the shelf in my room.

So…

My advice to you, and to my future self is this:

Slow down, and enjoy the ride. Maybe even pick up an ice cream cone just because you can. Let the process happen to you, don’t try to make yourself fit the process. Although ‘you’ as a writer may not fit the mold of your peers or those who have come before you, you were accepted into this minor for a reason. You obviously have talent and a passion for the written word, so don’t let your differences make you feel inferior.

Celebrate the fact that you are different, and if you aren’t much of a reader either, hey, shout it out! Let your writing speak for itself, and enjoy the process of experiencing the minor. The air outside is nice, so roll those windows down and keep on driving.

Good Luck!

Abigail

6 thoughts to “Roll The Windows Down, And Enjoy the Ride”

  1. That is some great advice! As a graduate in the Minor in Writing this is the best advice that you could give someone. I felt the same way when people were naming authors that I have never heard of! I learned that it is okay. You are there to learn and grow as a writer. I even got some books that I want to add to my list!

  2. Abigail,

    As a student in the Writing 220 gateway course, this advice definitely speaks to me. I’ve always loved reading, but writing- surprisingly enough- has not always come natural to me. I love to write and my final products are normally at least somewhat coherent, but the writing process has always taken me so long. I feel like most “writers” have figured out how to write a two-page paper in a day… I still haven’t. But your advice is a great reminder that it’s okay to be a different kind of writer than everyone else, so thank you!

  3. Abigail,

    Thank you so much for sharing your experience. I personally is not a big fan of reading. I like reading, but I could not dedicate my time to it sometimes just because it is not on top of my list. I like your idea of letting the process happen to me instead of forcing myself to go towards it; however, I think as a writer, I need to process more information to let the words and the stories flow out. No one is born to be a writer(maybe some are extraordinarily talented); therefore, I still need richer and broader knowledge to nurture the process of writing, but you are right, embrace the difference and we can always choose the part that we are most interested in and make something special out of it.

  4. Abigail,

    Reading your advice was such a comfort to me. I, like you, am not much of a reader. I enjoy reading but would much rather spend my free time doing something active or social, and so I find little time to read. This has always kind of bothered me, especially now that I am in the writing minor and surrounded by so many avid readers. Does my lack of reading make me a less capable writer? After reading your post, I tend to think no. I loved when you said, “can’t I become a writer because I just love to write?” I think that’s exactly why anyone should become a writer. It’s a relief to know that there are others in the writing minor simply because they share my passion, which is to write, not to read.

  5. Abigail,

    After the first four sentences of your blog I had to pinch myself that I wasn’t reading about my childhood. I was always an outdoors person and preferred that any day to sitting inside and reading a book. I have grown to enjoy books more through discovering what types of genres suit me best. Personally, I am a sucker for a good love story or thriller fiction novel. Like you, I have found myself comparing what others are reading to my reading list. But, as you reflected, that is so unnecessary. Being in the minor is all about embracing individuality and you reminded me of that. Thank you!

  6. Thank you for this post Abigail. I find that I am always self-conscious about myself and my abilities . So coming into the minor I keep worrying about the fact that I might not fit the mold for the people in the minor. I worry that I might not know enough about writing. I worry that I might not be as good of writer as most of the people in the minor. Really I worry about a lot of things. Sometimes I guess I just need a reminder to relax and let things happen. Thank you.

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