Why Write?

When I was little, I wanted to be an author. I memorized a 10-minute presentation in the fourth grade in which I was assigned to pretend I was my favorite author, JK Rowling. I amazed my parents with my presentation at the “Author Open House” because I was so shy and quiet as a child that they couldn’t believe how loud and excited I was to talk about the Harry Potter series. I “broke out of my shell.”

Later, I wanted to be a teacher. At other times, I wanted to be a veterinarian. Then, in middle school, I read “Last Shot: Mystery at the Final Four” by John Feinstein. I remember being so thrilled by the prospects of covering an event on deadline, being surrounded by spectacular athletes, and finding stories everywhere. For a while, I wanted to be a sports journalist.

Then, in high school, that dream somewhat disappeared. Without a school newspaper to write for, I had no chance to gain experience in print journalism. Fast forward a few years though (and I’m not even sure how it happened) and I’m covering a college basketball team that has the potential to make it the Final Four, and I could cover it just like the main characters did in “Last Shot.”

It’s kind of weird how life works out. I don’t plan on pursuing sports journalism as a career, but I’m not altogether ruling it out. I love the way I feel when I’m proud of an article I put together. I’m most proud of when an article works itself out after struggling through days of writing a feature with no idea of where the story is headed.

I agree with Orwell’s motives for writing, especially aesthetic enthusiasm. When I hear something that I feel needs to get shared, I want to write about it, and I want to write about it in a way that “clicks” for me. I like playing with different words to find out which ones sound the best, too. I also agree with sheer egoism. I think most people start to seriously write because they feel that what they have to say is valuable or important. I know when I started, I wanted to be clever and respected because I had always been the quiet kid who never shared her thoughts (not anymore, though, and I wonder if that has anything to do with how often I currently write). For me, confidence is such a big part of writing that it’s particularly hard to put words down when I’m having a rough day.

 

Kelly Hall

I'm a junior at the University of Michigan studying Psychology with minors in Writing and Entrepreneurship. I love writing about community events, especially those involving sports. On campus, I spend most of my time at the Michigan Daily, where I'm a sports editor and writer.

2 thoughts to “Why Write?”

  1. Hi Kelly,

    I loved this blog post, mostly because it is really relatable for me. As I was growing up, I wanted to be a dolphin trainer and swimming with dolphins one time. Then, I figured out how much I hated science and moved on to wanting to me a princess. Obviously, your careers were a little more legitimate than mine, but I totally identify with you when you say that it’s kind of weird how life works out.

    Similarly, aesthetic enthusiasm is my primary motive for writing because, like you, I like to write in a way that “clicks” for me. I also found it interesting that you identify with sheer egoism. I don’t think I’ve gotten to the point where I believe that what I have to say is important enough yet. I’m sure I’ll get there, but right now a lot of the writing I enjoy doing is just for my personal use–though I’m sure there’s some ego in that as well!

  2. Hey Kelly. I think it’s really cool you bring in the element of pride in your work. I also find it really intriguing, the way you characterize (sports) journalism. It is obviously something from which you as well as your audience can benefit. You (being the hypothetical journalist in my mind at the moment) have the opportunity to search for stories in something as interesting as sports and athletics. This in itself shows your interest and your passion – that there can always be stories, means there are never too many ways to get interested, to find something worth writing about! And then, your pride. Because this sort of writing is about sharing. Sharing the experience of the athlete, the nature of the game, the current events, and your perspective on anything story-worthy. This is writing that sounds really rewarding, and writing that not everyone is up to. Having a deadline really changes the way we write and express ideas. And also, writing about and with others changes our views and opinions.

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