Comma, comma, comma, dash, dash, comma, semicolon, comma, period. It is a bit funny, I have been thinking about style for ages now- every writer wants to develop their own particular brand and style of writing- but I never added in sentence structure to the equation. But that is exactly how I write; I compile series of related fragments, and glue them together with conjunctions, commas, dashes, and semicolons to form semi-coherent sentences. Now that I have noticed it, I cannot tell if I am doing it on purpose or mechanically. Turning my old research paper into a “Henry James-esque” piece of writing made me really aware of how different my own style can be in my personal prose vs. academic writing. In a way, the strings of long-winded sentences I concoct in my personal work mirror his style- a bit flowery, very “literary” so to speak. But it is difficult to translate that to a research paper where the style must be concise and factual, without frill. I guess that makes me wonder if a writer can (and should) adapt his or her style to reflect the type of writing her or she is working on. I think this exercise opened me up to the idea that style can be fluid, and it is not absolutely critical to find a particular style and stick to it like a rigid, unforgiving template. Writers evolve throughout their careers, and styles can change. I think the examples I included in the Influential Writing Gallery definitely reflect my style as a writer. Playing into the theme of “why I write”, I write and read stories to get to know the inner thoughts of other people, and the examples I chose (two first-person novels, and a blog about the stories of everyday people) really contain the same stream of consciousness, long-winded writing style that I implement in my own writing. So finally, why I write. I touched on this a little bit, but I think writing is really my way of getting to know the people and the world around me. A big part of writing for me is saying the things that I can’t really voice in person, so in a cheesy way, I sort of use my writing as a sort of strong, witty alter ego to my otherwise laconic self. I look forward to exploring that a bit more in this essay.