Voice in my “Why I Write” Post

Before re-reading my Why I Write post, I was convinced the words would be unrecognizable; I would review it and immediately write it off as something I had written on a whim, and, if I were to write it again, would look completely different. Having said this, I was quite surprised by the level of familiarity I had with my writing. This seems to be a common theme in my life as a writer–with each draft I write, I imagine words that are so quickly thrown together that they couldn’t possibly be my voice, when in reality, these moments are when my most prominent thoughts are best communicated. So, while I recognize my voice within the written words, I believe a key component of my own thought process when considering why I write is missing in my writing: uncertainty.

When I crafted my response, I wasn’t confident in exactly why I write.  I had a few ideas, but with every thought came ten more suspicions. Instead of honoring these questions by weaving them into my response, however, I chose to edit them out. I wrote and deleted, wrote and deleted, until a half hour had flown by and I only had a few sentences to show for it. With each sentence I wrote, I knew there was a better way to communicate my thought, and I chose to get hung up on each and every word instead of expressing my thoughts as they came to me, regardless of clarity. Uncertainty was a key component of my brainstorming process–and my resulting voice–but it wasn’t successfully translated into my writing.

This isn’t to say that this uncertainty is to be present in every single one of my writing assignments–there are some essays I spend months on and subsequently become very confident with my arguments, and therefore don’t exhibit great levels of uncertainty. In an assignment such as this one, however, where I am instructed to state my thoughts in a informal response-like format, I believe my writing could have benefitted form an expression of uncertainty. I would have been able to look back on my writing when constructing subsequent drafts and follow my thought process more clearly. Instead, I am left to review a response where much of the small but crucial components of my thought process have been omitted. Further, the lack of uncertainty present in my writing invites a false image of expertise. In this case, I think a bit of questioning and apprehension would have created words that more genuinely reflected my own thoughts and honored my voice.

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