Revisiting Sullivan’s “Why I Blog”

I am happy to re-visit this piece because Sullivan’s arguments about the positive effects of blogging really stuck with me from the first time. I love that HE loves true, honest writing. I think that honest writing is something that is hard to achieve because we are often too concerned with what people want to hear and how they want to hear it. However, I think that true, honest writing is so refreshing (especially in this time of manipulative political speech). That has been a focus on my experience in the writing minor so far. I have learned to address an audience and follow certain techniques that make this address the most effective. However, I have also learned to listen to my ideas and trust what comes out on to the paper and see how it does not need to be twisted and turned in any way to reach an audience.

I see a similar theme in Didion’s piece. That is why during class today, I raised my hand for her when asked who I would rather be– Didion or Orwell. As I read about the reasons she writes, I feel like I am being told the truth and nothing but the truth. She doesn’t hold back. She lets her voice shine and be heard and that is something I strive to do in my writing. Orwell, on the other hand, tells the truth in a different way. I sense the structure and attention to the audience’s needs. Both ways are effective, but Didion’s voice and writing style resonates with me a bit more.

I hope to be able to reach my audience in a way that does not seem artificial and forced, yet still sticks with them and makes an impact. Throughout my writing career thus far, especially in high school, I have been so concerned with writing something that the teacher would like to hear. I haven’t so much written for myself. I think that Sullivan, Didion and Orwell all see the importance and value of writing in exploring your own thoughts and seeing where they take you.


2 thoughts to “Revisiting Sullivan’s “Why I Blog””

  1. I totally agree that there is SO much value in honest writing and not being so consumed with what your audience wants to hear. That’s sort of what I was trying to get at during the end of class today. I think that audiences respond favorably to true and honest writing, even if that means that they don’t hear what they expect. This is something to keep in mind as we work on our “Why I Write” essays. As you said, you detected Orwell’s structure and attention to audience in his writing. And you seemed to prefer Didion’s more “naked” style of writing. Although Didion’s style is riskier, I think it is often more effective. That being said, we still strive to communicate effectively with our audience, so we have to understand their perspective as well. It is a difficult balance to achieve.
    After reading your re-purposing and remediation drafts, I think that you are achieving an honest voice in your writing. It definitely feels good to focus on your own ideas and leave behind the stresses of figuring out what everyone else wants you to write.

  2. Yes! I feel the same way about writing. I’ve learned so much in my writing classes throughout the years, and while we write with our own style in the sense that it differs from our classmates in some way, I’ve never written a paper without thinking about how my teacher will process it. It’s so different thinking about our ePorfolios and what we want our voice to be. It’s like for once we don’t have to worry about sounding a certain way, because this is about us and our personal choices. I also liked what Didion had to say about why she writes. Especially the part about writing to find answers. I think writing is a very personal, exploratory process and I can’t wait to see everyone’s final projects.

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