A Writing Manifesto

Writing is liberating.

It can be LOUD, ANGRY, & MAD.

It can be Lovely, Heartfelt, & Happy.

Writing is for Fun or for Work, or why not Both.

It can be Shitty or Lovely, feel like Rubbish or Beauty.

Writing is to be read or burned no in between.

Writing is relieving or imprisoning but most of all,

writing is for the writer before the reader.

For Himself or Herself and maybe one day for EVERYONE ELSE.

Rain and Me

Immediately after stepping outside my dorm, I regretted my decision to not wear my bright yellow raincoat.

The rain immediately soaked my hair. I tried to put up my hood but the wind knocked it off quickly. Before even making it by the Law Quad, I was shaking my head regretting everything that had brought me to this moment. I just wanted to turn around and crawl back into my warm, dry bed.

The Diag was the next obstacle to get through. Walking through in my black nikes, I cursed the money gods for not giving me the resources to be able to afford rain boots that fit. Rain pelted my face, it was freezing. I was getting a brain freeze. The rain had soaked through my shoes, socks, and onto my feet.

With my head hurting and my hands cold, I quickened my pace, trying to get to the USB as fast as I could. I know that when I walked into room 2330, I looked a mess. Runny, red nose and shaking hands, I looked like I had just stepped out of the shower after receiving the news that my grandfather died.

I sat down and immediately pulled off the silver winter coat that I had trusted to get me through the storm. It had soaked through completely, I silently prayed that it would dry by the end of class.

Rain was not my friend today.

 

A Rainy Day Can Be A Happy Day

Hello World,
I know, I just ruined your day. You woke up and you heard me fall on your window, on the ground and you probably hated this day already.
But come on… You guys know you need me.
I keep your garden green and the trees happy and I can also be fun after all. Who does not like to jump in a puddle? I know you do.
I know that deep, deep, deep… ok maybe REALLYYYYY deep you like me so enjoy your day because I am here to stay.

Resistance

When my eyes begin to droop and my back starts to hurt, I want nothing more than to go home. I check the time: 1:18 AM. I’ve been here for five hours. Doing what? Learning about life. Literally.

It’s at this time that I must resist the urge to go home. I have to power through. Despite the fact that I know my hard work will make for a better future, I can’t stop myself from thinking about dropping out of school, working in retail, and having fun. I dream about a life free of homework and studying, heavy backpacks and light nights. No matter how many times I have these thoughts, there is always a part of me that resists — well, at least for now….

Hudson Ling: Reflection on Clare Croft Writer-to-Writer Event

Last Tuesday, I attended the Sweetland Writer-t0-Writer live podcast at Literati Bookstore. It was really cool to see former classmates and friends Clare Croft and Sweetland professor Shelley Manis talk about the writing process. Although I don’t have any previous knowledge or experience about American dance, I really enjoyed the way her work ties into cultural policy, feminist and queer theory and critical race theory because I am currently studying language, art and discrimination in my linguistics class, LING 370. I enjoyed seeing what I’ve learned in that class come to life in Croft’s work.

While I enjoyed listening to excerpts from Croft’s recently published work, I most enjoyed the question & answer segment of the event: Everything from hearing that least favorite words were “Problematize,” to getting some advice on how to be a better writer.

It’s great to hear these things from someone who is not only an esteemed writer but also a teacher at the University of Michigan. But what inspired me most is that she combined the two things she loved the most growing up: Dance and Writing. In light of this, I look to find the connection between writing and another activity that excites me most, hoping to combine the two at one point.

I love getting new perspectives on the writing process. Everyone’s process is unique, and specifically with Clare’s process, I took away the importance of meshing two passions together to bring out our strongest writing.

Ethan Wolfe: Writer to Writer Sweetland Event

On Tuesday evening, I attended the Writer to Writer event at Literati hosted by Sweetland. The event featured a moderated discussion between Sweetland staff and dance historian Clare Croft, who also teaches at the University. The conversation included Croft reading passages from her previous and upcoming work, as well as how she came about approaching her writing and other scholarly advice. Initially, it was difficult for me to engage in the conversation because I was not particularly interested in the topic of dance and contemporary history, but some of her overarching messages proved to be universally relevant and beneficial. What stood out the most was when she remarked that “objectivity isn’t possible” — an idea that was debated in the gateway course. Croft continued this idea, stating that all writing, even for historical purpose, requires a deeper meaning that illustrates how the author thinks about presenting information, and any attempt at objectivity distorts the necessity of detail. On a similar chord, Croft noted that writing isn’t necessarily about communicating the truth, but rather a method of engagement. A final universal remark she shared was her feelings about the transition into online writing. While she believes written word will not become obsolete, the internet opened the floodgates to beautiful longform essays. The internet also became a platform for writers actually committed to their respective topics, as compensation isn’t as much and there is more competition. Overall, Croft offered a number of great tips for writing amidst her discussion of her work with dance history, and truly cemented the idea that combining external passions with writing will generate your best work.

DMC Tour reflection

I am a Junior at the University of Michigan and it is sad to say that I had no idea of what the DMC had in store for us. Let me tell you that I was surprised, pleasantly surprised. My mouth was probably open during the tour, I was impressed!!!  When I saw the studio to film performances I was shocked, I had no idea we had something that amazing on campus!!!  I was all excited about the idea of using it to film my Project III, but then my dream was crushed!!! The eight-month waiting list to use it did not fit into my personal deadline. Nevertheless, I now know it exists and I will make sure to use it and everything else at the DMC at least once before I graduate next year. DMC be ready, I am coming for you next year!!!

~DMC Tour Reflection~

It’s truly amazing what is available for our use at the Duderstadt Media Center. I was first introduced to the recording studio and video room last year while creating projects with some friends, and was totally impressed by what I saw. I agree with Adele that the top-of-the-line equipment is quite overwhelming, especially for someone like me (since I feel accomplished after putting together a 30-second video in iMovie). However, I know from experience that the center does provide friendly and helpful assistants who will guide you through the recording and taping process, and make it everything you want it to be.

I was thankful that we were able to have the “full tour” and be introduced to the personal studios, particularly the one that reminded me of a newscasting set with the bright lights. I could definitely see myself using that space in the future for formal interviews or fancy presentations (perhaps for a Capstone project). Of course, this can only happen after I become more comfortable with technology and refine my pitiful iMovie skills. 😉

Many thanks again to T. for arranging the tour! 🙂

Uni Uni Unicorn

Friday was always Unicorn day. When I was three, I was pushed in a stroller from kids camp to the old arts and crafts building, and some counselor sat me on her lap as we sang and waited patiently for the wizard to arrive. To be clear, I have no memory of this, but thats what all the pictures from my first year at camp seem to describe. Every year, we sang. From Princess Pat to the Baby Shark song, by the time I was 6 we knew every single word. Paper plates were decorated and rolled into horns, and we wore them on our heads all morning long in anticipation. The unicorn was magical until I was about 7, when I could see that it was probably just a horse and that the wizard looked suspiciously like the same girl who had held the reigns during my riding lesson that morning, just with a fancy cape and hat. When I turned 11, my friends and I were in the right place at the right time, and we got to help transform a horse into a unicorn, equipped with finger paint and glitter. We spent hours in the barn, oblivious to the scent of manure or how badly we were staining our hands, as we worked hard to make a beautiful unicorn for the little kids. Each year, how I felt about the unicorn changed: from pure awe, to pride in helping out, to being just a little bit too cool for it, to accepting that we weren’t actually cool and letting the preteen girls paint our faces, and finally to screaming at the top of my lungs with my best friends as a counselor. I can’t wait until I can roll my own children up in a stroller, and watch their faces as the unicorn rides by. Even if it is just a horse with some paint and a counselor with a wig and cape, the Unicorn will always be magical, and Friday will always be Unicorn day.

Mixed Feelings & Exploring my Behavior as a Writer (Combined Post)

I have mixed feelings about a reading a story that ends too soon. Sometimes it makes sense to leave the reader questioning (such as the end of Great Gatsby — in these situations it works). However, sometimes I just want to see more. The example that comes to mind is Jeffery Eugenides’ The Virgin Suicides. It’s a crazy, eventful, emotional whirlwind of a book, but after the unfortunate and mysterious events in the end, I would have liked to see how the city reacted further on. (Appropriately, the city is Grosse Point, MI approximately 30 minutes away from here).

 

What do my observations and mixed feelings tell me about myself as a writer?

When I read, I look for completeness. In the case of The Virgin Suicides, I think it just leaves me feeling sad rather than curious.

 

So therefore when I write, I emphasize the cumulative, complete process. An inspiring and intriguing beginning and middle don’t matter if the end doesn’t leave an everlasting effect on my reader. In other words, I want to leave my reader perfectly balanced between curious and ready for an ending. It’s tough to balance, and it seems like a small and meticulous detail — but it’s important! After all, the end chance I have to have my reader remember me! My behavior as a writer implies emphasis on the value of leaving an everlasting effect.