Thinking About My Reading Behavior and Figuring Out Why I Write

From my behavior as a writer, I am now aware that I believe that all writers have bias. As a writer, I do not necessarily attempt to avoid my own bias, but I hope that I am at least always clear and upfront with my writing and bias. I do not want to hide my motives for writing. I try to lay out my ideas in a logical and easy to understand order with the intention that readers are not overly complex.

I also admire creativity and innovation from writers. This admiration comes from the belief that not all writers and writing is creative. I want to be original and bring ideas into my writing in a fashion that has not been seen before.

Finding a balance between these two concepts, understandable clarity and innovation, can be difficult, but that is simply part of the writing process.

Why I Read = Why I Write ?

“I read to see myself”.

If this is the reason why I read, then the reason why I write circles quite closely around the word “vanity”. I like to see something of myself in the characters that I’m reading about. I have a very hard time “buying into” characters extremely different from who I am. I think their decisions don’t make sense and their actions hard to understand. I suppose if I’m committing to this line of thinking, then I read to put something out into the world that I know I will fit into. Maybe there isn’t enough literature out there that I feel I can find a common ground with, and I’m just vain enough as a writer to need that problem to be remedied. I very much enjoy re-reading things that I’ve written, primarily things I’ve written about myself. I will never find anything I have more in common with than something I’ve written myself. If there’s isn’t a niche that I can fit myself into, I feel the need to create it, and perhaps this is a reason why I write.

Reading Leads to Writing

When I read The Hunger Games, I felt judged and talked down to. When I write, I strive to make the reader feel what I am saying. I do not wish to write to make others feel judged; rather, I write to cause others to see themselves or the world in a new way. At the end of the day, I can do as much as possible to help my reader, but I cannot control what they think. I try my best not to assume or not to assume certain things about my reader.

When I write, I try to simply write from the heart and write for myself because when you try and write for others, that leads to judgement.

I write for authenticity

So, now that I’ve discovered that as a reader, I read to see myself, I think it says something about my desires or preferences as a writer. I think as a writer, it says that I don’t really know who I am, so I write in order to bring some version of myself into existence. When I read, I am looking for a version of myself, perhaps in an effort to understand myself better. This extends to when I write, which is why I think I reject writing that doesn’t feel authentic, doesn’t feel like me. I am always scared that my writing is not honest, not representing myself in the way that I should be.

This is in part why I think I’m struggling with my repurposing and remediation (which are all about my authenticity and my identity as a writer). Maybe this realization about myself, and my need to represent myself well in prose will help me going forward? I don’t know who I am, and I write to know, because maybe I’m not seeing it in what I read.

Reading vs. Writing

What I do as a reader: I read to see myself.

What I do as a writer: I write with my own preferences in mind. I steer away from teen angst and make my characters more independent and relevant to the characters I would like to see in books. In fact, my repurposing piece mirrored the type of works I wanted to see in real life. The goddesses were all strong, confident individuals who were good friends with each other and challenged each other’s ideas.

I Read to Judge

Here’s what I learned about myself as a reader: I read to judge.

So…what does that say about my desires/preferences as a writer?

I want readers to sit down, read the text, and come out of it with something meaningful that’s not clouded by judgmental thoughts. Of course, part of this hope is motivated by my fear judgement. And so I write very carefully so that someone will not skim my work and then throw it in the trash. Another motivation is my desire to produce something that readers will enjoy, something that won’t sidetrack them by its flaws. I want readers to be able to immerse themselves and, again, get something meaningful out of the writing. There’s this subconscious (now conscious) notion I have that I can help people by writing, and writing well. As a reader, I’ve been helped by writers, and now I really want to do something for readers.

Ethan Wolfe: In-Class Writing

As a writer, my priorities and overarching purpose behind my work does not directly translate to my process of how I read novels and articles. Overall, I believe that I write to entertain, whether that be with the actual content that I churn out or the idea of putting my writing on a more public stage (ex: sharing my sports articles on Facebook because mom and dad love it!) As a reader, my judgements of other peoples work comes from what prefaces the reading. Who is the author? What did other people say about the reading? Do they have an intriguing headline or cover illustration? For me, as a writer with no established reputation, I hope to let my writing do the metaphorical talking.

Plausibility

My writing has to make sense, and, to me, it has to make sense to everyone- not just me or people who resonate with my writing. I don’t mean “make sense” in the grammatical way, but it has to be applicable to the real-world. It’s not that my readers have to agree with what I write, it’s not that they have to like it- but, it has to be plausible, realistic, or I don’t think I could actually write it. Of course, I write personal, subjective, narrative pieces- but I try not to make far-fetched claims in my writing because I hate seeing those in pieces that I read.

I think it has to do with my small desire to kinda always be right (oops). I don’t mind that I’m not agreed with, but I do make sure that people can say, “Oh, yeah that makes sense.”

Max Rysztak: Reading to Rewrite

As somebody who reads to rewrite, I think I write with the goal of rewriting things I disagree with. With the “Why I Write” essay, I feel that my writing (which is typically argumentative in nature) is most often in an attempt to correct the arguments I tend to disagree with. I say that writing is a means by which I can pursue my broader goals; I write almost in a competitive nature, perhaps to have the best argument possible. I think it highlights a deeper competitiveness within myself, and as a “self-described talented writer”, writing may be my way of competitively reaching my goals.

I Dislike Effort

I realized that I dislike visible effort in my reading. I can see this in my writing in the tone that I use. I usually write in a pretty conversational way. I think people could picture me sitting down with my laptop and writing up my pieces in one draft and then proceeding to send them as emails to my friends for their responses to my points. I try to make my writing sound intelligent but effortless, and I strive to make my readers feel like I’m standing in front of them and explaining the observations I have about the world in a casual and compelling way.