Beginning a paragraph is like walking into a dark room to look for your glasses. You reach your arms out, and with a light touch, feel the surfaces around you. Although unsure of your directional progress, you know the only way to succeed is to keep trying. So you take a few steps forward, back, and sideways, get on your hands and knees, pause. However, if your glasses here represent clarity, there will be times when you don’t always find them. Perhaps you’ll see your darkroom differently—its cast shadows transform to landscapes and characters. Your end result was not what you imagined, or necessarily hoped for, but it’s an end result that changed your original perceptions nonetheless.
Writing is directional but non-linear. Ideas become words which inspire new ideas, and the cycle continues. In this semester course, and in the Writing Minor as a whole, I hope to exercise this cycle. I hope to cultivate my ideas, allowing them the freedom to grow and transform. With writing comes a great potential for discovery and surprise. This potential grows as it is supplemented with outside influences and peer feedback. The Sweetland minor will provide these essential components, which will challenge me as a creative and thoughtful inhabitant of our current world. My experience in the minor will also strengthen my mental relationship with writing and thinking.
I expect to build up my “writing stamina,” so to speak. I was taught how to run. I was taught how to write. There have been times when I’ve had to run a few miles here and there. I’ve had to write papers of multiple page lengths from time to time. But I’ve never been taught or obligated to go on a run every single day. If I had, maybe I’d be a marathon runner today. I’ve never been taught how to turn writing into an everyday habit. More than once or twice a week, I will journal about my thoughts or feelings of the day, I’ll tweet a fleeting thought, or jot down an overheard conversation on the bus. But I’m not sure that persistence and dedication is all it takes to develop and grow as a writer. Through the minor, I hope to equip myself with more tools, for both writing and thinking, that will help me get off the ground and will follow me for a lifetime.