As our second experiment cycle came to an end, I was initially dumb-founded as to what genre I was going to pick next. I didn’t want to do another article, I already ventured out into the (sometimes) scary world of poems, and I knew I didn’t want to necessarily do anything that was necessarily “academic” or research based. The topic of my origin piece is something extremely personal, and I was honestly at a loss for as to how I would turn this into yet another fitting genre. After going back and rethinking what was most important from my origin piece, it hit me. What would I have wished that I had at the time that I had written these short diary-like notes in my phone? Advice, intuition, and thoughts from someone who had been through it all before.
What better way to do this than to do an open letter to my past self from my current self.
By definition, an open letter is “a letter that is intended to be read by a wide audience, or a letter intended for an individual, but that is nonetheless widely distributed intentionally.” Some open letters are addressed to a specific person but meant to be read by a larger audience, while some letters are undressed but also meant to be read by a lot of people. One of the most important conventions of an open letter is that they all have a purpose. They are written with a goal in mind, and they attempt to make that goal clear throughout that letter.
One famous example of an open letter is the “Letter From Birmingham Jail” written by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. King was arrested and put in jail after engaging in a non violent protest, so his letter was a response to the statement by Alabama clergyman that said these anti segregation demonstrations must stop and be dealt with in court. This letter was widely published, and it eventually became an important text for the American Civil Rights movement. You can read more about the power of this letter here. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Letter_from_Birmingham_Jail
I’m honestly excited to explore doing an open letter as my next genre. I think it will be a unique way for me to reflect on my past experiences and what I think about my these past experiences now that I might “know better.”