I read a total of 6 “Why I Write” essays before writing this blog post. Three of them strangers, three of them from previous MiW gateway students. It’s interesting – I noticed a VERY distinct pattern in the MiW student’s essays. The three that I randomly selected all took me on a two page anecdotal journey of how they first started writing, when they realized they wanted to consider themselves writers, and finally when they actually did consider themselves writers. Maybe they aren’t all like that but the three I chose certainly were. Standing alone they were all well-written and interesting, but reading them one after the other as I did they all began to blur together.
The strangers’ essays varied a bit more, but I did notice a pattern there as well. Two of the essays I read utilized the listing method of “I write because xyz. [Further elaboration]”. The third essay I read stood out the most to me, not necessarily because I liked it the most, but because it was a bit more unique in its form. The author wrote with extreme candor, to the point where it was almost information I didn’t need or want, and actually swore. *gasp*. He, too, used anecdotes, but it wasn’t an anecdotal journey as the MiW essays were. His main point was that he writes to put a halt to cliches, to force people (and largely himself) to “think independently of things that have come before.” He embedded a silly youtube video and made pop culture references. It was a bit all over the place, frankly, but different enough that it stood out. I don’t know if that makes it a “successful” Why I Write essay or not, but I’ve dedicated the most words in this blog post to it, so that’s something.