Re-visiting Sullivan’s “Why I Blog”

As I blog this, I feel more of a writer than I did in the beginning of the semester, than I did last month, and than I did yesterday. I am becoming more and more passionate about this minor and what comes with it. When people ask me: why the minor in writing? I often tell them how I think it compliments my major and my career goals. But, on a real note, I just wanted to write more pieces of writing than the philosophy papers that take up space on my computer. I love my major, don’t get me wrong, but I need to be able to vent about life sometimes and still let it count towards my grade – ya feel? And it is hard to do that when you are writing about Kant and Malthus.

Anyways, I digress. I re-visited Sullivan’s “Why I Blog” and found myself, for the second time, unamused by his conclusions. I guess my reservations come from the stark differences between Sullivan’s view on writing and Didion’s and Orwell’s. Sullivan talks about blogging as if it has replaced conventional writing whereas Didion and Orwell speak to the importance of writing as an art, a mode of presentation, an outlet for expression, and a necessity to understand things around us. I think that, yes, blogging is a new platform that many of us love to navigate and utilize. I love blogging – I mean look at me now. I can write freely and carelessly and you are going to read it regardless – or maybe you won’t. Maybe you have stopped reading because you thought this was going to be another boring review of three authors. Maybe I don’t blame you.

But I have to say – I love the way Orwell and Didion express themselves in their writing and how conventional and yet unconventional each of their pieces felt. How did they achieve such a presentation? It is unbeknownst to me but I can only appreciate their work and feel inspired to follow suit.   I could analyze each other, incorporate quotes and take the time to unpack them. But you know what? I am sitting here at the library and I am surrounded by friends who have felt hell this past week and who are continuing to feel hell today and this week. I am consumed by something so much larger than Sullivan’s piece or Orwell’s piece or even Didion’s piece that I am having a hard time putting into words exactly “Why I Write.” Because right now, I feel like I need to write to understand, like Didion says, but I also need to write to practice articulating myself, like Orwell – and I am also at a loss for the words that should be at the tip of my tongue – like Sullivan suggests.

I am excited to pursue this minor even more than I was on day one. I am inspired to keep writing – through the good and the bad. I am determined to write until I physically cannot. I apologize if this blog post was scattered and lacking of gifs. I will do better next time, and the the after that, and the time after that. But today, I resonate with Didion in the fact that I am just trying to understand what the hell is going on in the world around me.

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