How and Why I Write

It is still difficult for me to call myself a writer, as I have always used that term to describe those who write professionally for a living, whether it be novels or journalism or blogs. That’s why I really connected with Joan Didion’s statement about how she is not a “good writer or a bad writer but simply a writer, a person whose most passionate hours are spent arranging words on pieces of paper.”

The operating phrase for me here is “most passionate hours.” I realized that no matter what kind of writing it is, I am most passionate about doing work that involved writing. Even if I am writing a dry research paper, and spend countless hours distressed about how the words sound on the page. I think this is what makes me a writer.

I have always loved Orwell’s piece Why I Write, and especially connect to the part in which he discusses how he would go through life thinking about “a mere description of what [he] was doing and what [he] saw.” I have always been fascinated by the fact that really good writers can describe mundane everyday occurrences in beautiful or strange ways, and this is what has always drawn me to certain books and authors.

In terms of my writing process, I think I have grown a lot as a writer throughout the course of this semester. I think challenging myself with new mediums has really pushed me think outside my own typical writing habits, and really emerge myself in an unfamiliar genre. Further, I think having feedback from the blog groups has pushed me add and remove certain pieces of my argument in order to make it as strong as possible.

Lauren Diamond

Lauren Diamond is a Junior at the University of Michigan and a Political Science Major.

2 thoughts to “How and Why I Write”

  1. Hey Lauren! I really like Orwell’s piece, too. I find myself being very descriptive in my writing, I think I might have somewhat picked that up from reading his books. I also really like how this class has forced me to get feedback. I was really self-conscious about writing before and rarely showed or shared my work. Now that I am forced to put my writing out there, I am seeing how it can make me a better writer.

  2. It’s always reassuring to hear writers talk about how they aren’t perfect, or how they still struggle to produce work. So I also connected to Didion’s statement as well. It’s interesting that you brought up Orwell in connection with making the familiar strange, because I was more intrigued by Didion’s examples than the poem thing Orwell included in his piece.

    I’m glad blog groups have been helpful for you. I felt like I didn’t get enough feedback for repurposing. But hopefully with remediation my feedback will be compelling.

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