In approaching this project and starting the writing process, one of the, if not the, biggest challenges that I am facing is how to write in a first person, personal narrative style that isn’t all about me. I don’t want to write a first person piece that is important to me but that most people can’t relate or don’t care about. Instead, I strive to use personal anecdotes in order to address the topic of homelessness and uncover the nuances and moral complexities behind homelessness. I suppose the main challenge is: How do I expand my scope and appeal to a general audience by writing about myself in a first person voice?
As I encounter this issue, I return to the only other piece that I’ve really made “public” and sent out to the world: my gateway project. After reading through my “repurposing” piece, I’ve come to see a few possibilities. First, in my repurposing, I jump right into myself. The first word is “I” and I then proceed to talk about my background, childhood, and environments. Perhaps it may be a better solution to instead start this project by discussing the general topic of homelessness. Why is it such a huge issue? Why do people care about it? And then, after introducing this broad topic and connecting it to a general audience, I can delve into why I also care and why I am choosing to write about this. Similarly, in the second part of my repurposing, I do the same thing. I jump into a highly personal scene, which while it may captivate the reader, it may also be advantageous to begin sections that more people can relate to. Do you agree? If not, what are some other ways you would tackle this problem? Even if you do agree, I would still love to hear other solutions to this issue.
Looking at the last part of my repurposing, I found something that may be helpful. I begin that last section by saying,
“As a white, hetero-sexual, male on a college campus, I strive to find a balance: a balance that, on the one hand, acknowledges and accepts these aspects of my identity that are the essence my privilege. On the other hand, this balance also pushes back against the stereotypes that often place me in a narrow box.”
In this part, I begin in a way that talks about myself, but also can appeal to a specific audience. By talking about facets of my identity, perhaps it opens the door for people that share those same, or one of those, identity markers. Perhaps when approaching my capstone project, I could also open, or generally write throughout my paper, by talking about the lens in which I see and interact with homelessness. Perhaps that will bring more people in. Do you agree? Why or why not?