Am I a Writer?

It’s has always hard for me to use the term “writer” to describe myself, as I would use that term to describe someone who write professionally for a living, whether it be novels or journalism. Since I am still a student, and know that I have a lot to learn about writing, it’s difficult for me to really see myself as a writer. This is why I really appreciated Joan Didion’s description of herself as “not a good writer or a bad writer but simply a writer, a person whose most absorbed and passionate hours are spent arranging words on pieces of paper.”

The operating phrase for me in this quote is “most.. passionate hours.” Throughout this semester, I’ve realized that while I may not be in the process of writing the next great American novel, the work in school I am most passionate about creating and doing has to do with writing. Through the repurposing project, I was able to write about a subject that is incredibly important to me, and that I put a lot of time and effort into creating. Yet even when it comes to writing a history paper for instance, I find that I care deeply about the way the words sound, what they mean, how they might affect the reader. That is what makes me a writer.

I have always loved Orwell’s piece ‘Why I Write,’ particularly the part in which he writes about dreaming up “a mere description of what I was doing and the things [he] saw.” I have always been fascinated with the way you can describe seemingly mundane life experiences in beautiful ways, and it is this type of language I am drawn to when reading books. I think this is a defining characteristic that most writers possess, and one that Orwell captures perfectly.

Overall, I think this semester I have come far as a writer simply by put together a piece of writing that I am proud of.

Lauren Diamond

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

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