How I Learned to Write Like Myself

Let me start out by stating the obvious: I had so much fun writing this semester! Although my writing was pretty personal and often serious in tone, I had a blast experimenting with genre, audience, and voice. That’s probably the biggest way I’ve grown this semester: I’ve learned to embrace my writing style. Instead of conforming to a tone I thought the audience (i.e. the professor grading the paper) would appreciate, I was able to make choices about how I wanted it to sound and what would work best for my project. I have these blog posts to thank for that, at least in part: blogging has allowed me to write in a loose, informal way, which has really helped me learn to love the sound of my own (writing) voice. This is what has made my experiments and final project so fun to create: I’m able to put so much of myself into them.

That thought connects nicely to the advice I have for new Gateway students: pick an origin piece that you love, something that means a lot to you. You might find it easier to transform that research paper on polluted waterways, but is that really where your interests lie? Picking a subject you’re passionate about is gonna make writing so much more fun and fulfilling, and it will allow you not only to grow as a writer, but as a person, too.

Without further ado, some information about my e-portfolio. My origin piece is a transcript of an interview I conducted with my grandmother about her early married life, in which she learned that my grandfather had Hodgkin’s lymphoma (practically a death sentence in 1959) and had to keep it a secret from him for many years. This semester, I have made exploring her emotional experience of this period my main objective. My final project is an artist writing that explores a fiber arts piece I created to compliment my origin piece. The writing connects “women’s work” like weaving to societal expectations for women, as well as to themes of grief, monotony, and perfection. (This all makes much more sense when you actually see the artwork, which is why I’ve included images of it in my final project.) Along with my artist writing, my e-portfolio includes all three of my experiments in their entirety, along with a comprehensive introduction of my origin piece and why the topic of my grandfather’s disease matters to me.

You can find it here: www.brookseisen.wixsite.com/gateway

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