Wait, When Did I Become a Writer?

When I first read the prompt for this week, I was kind of taken back by having to verbalize how I feel I’ve grown as a writer. I guess I haven’t given much thought to the growth that I’ve had–though I know it exists–because I’ve been so caught up in the checklist of projects we have to accomplish. This happens often for me, where I forget the big picture and get lost in the details. Of course, this class has been no exception.

Spongebob Writing

Taking a step back, as this blog post has caused me to do, made me think about George Orwell’s four motives for writing, which he mentions in his piece, “Why I Write.” I would say that my strongest motive is “aesthetic enthusiasm” because I just love words. As a Latin buff, I’ve always been enthralled with the construction of words and where they come from. I love the way that a string of words can produce such a palpable and beautiful image, in the same way that lyrics make up a song.

Given both Orwell and Didion’s points, I still can’t figure out who I am as a writer, and I think that’s okay. I’m only 20 years old and I haven’t even written very much yet that I actually enjoyed writing, which I think is kind of sad. It’s a testament to the way the education system works in the U.S. though. As students, we are forced to read books and write papers about books. We are encouraged to “be creative” but within the strict confines of a three-pronged thesis and five-paragraph essay. I’m not saying that education should be a free for all, because I do think that there would be a significant number of people who would never write if they didn’t have to. However, I do think that time should be made to write freely about what you want to write about, not what you should write about.

One thing I do think would help me figure out myself as a writer is time dedicated in class to just write freely on a piece of paper and then discussing with the entire class what everyone wrote about. Not only do I think this would bring us closer together as a class by getting to know everyone’s style and preferred subjects to write about, it would get the creative juices flowing before we delve deeper into our projects. Oftentimes, I feel like I walk into class with big ideas about life. For example, just last week I had received an email from my aunt whom I rarely talk to and an hour later, received a $5 Starbucks gift card from one of my friends on a whim. Both of these events made me feel so special and all I wanted to do was write about it. Of course, I could have waited to journal like I do every night before bed, but writing during class, surrounded by my peers is a totally different experience.

Theo James Thumbs Up

Caroline Rafferty

Caroline is a Lauren Conrad aficionado with more clothes than sense. Currently suffering with a severe case of wanderlust and wondering why more people don't like jicama, Caroline is an extremely gifted napper who is a Communications major. Between reading "Into The Gloss" and listening to her "rbf" Spotify playlist, Caroline writes about anything that comes to mind. Anything.

2 thoughts to “Wait, When Did I Become a Writer?”

  1. Hi Caroline! I think we all have a while before we figure out who we are as writers…or maybe our identities are constantly changing, I’m not sure. I do know that I don’t just sit down and write about my day or feelings very often though, and I think that would help me. It sounds like you enjoy journaling at night, so maybe I have to give that a try. It’s so interesting to think about who I am as a writer because the vast majority (I would be willing to bet 95%) of the writing I do is for the Daily, but that doesn’t mean that I’m just a sports writer. I think that relates to the way you feel about academic writing. You may do academic writing the most, but that doesn’t mean that’s all you are.

  2. This was a really interesting blog post. Thanks for that. I have two main comments to make! First, I think it is really cool that you are a Latin buff and find words and their meanings and placements so enthralling. To be honest, I usually hate that kind of stuff, but I can actually relate. Learning Spanish over the last couple years, I have come to actually find more interest in my English writing. What?! I know, right. Because Spanish, which is obviously really similar to English, does things a bit differently. Or sometimes, just learning the conventions of Spanish, I can suddenly put names to the conventions we have in English. It is pretty weird, but suddenly there is a tangible art and science to the specific ways in which we say or write things. There is a distinct power in the hands of the pen-holder! Secondly, I agree that writing is not always fun! This year has actually been an anomaly for me, as I have been given so many open-ended essays and projects (like the ones in this class), in which I was expected to write about … whatever I wanted. We are taught to write about specific things – things that don’t necessarily interest us. I actually think that is extremely valuable. But now having done that for years, it is great to break free and explore my own voice and own opinions.

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