General Thoughts, Preoccupations, and Anxieties

What’s in my #1 spot right now is a host of anxieties and preoccupations that have been with me my four years, but I’ve never been able to fully address. This specifically has to do with how what I like to read, influences how I want to write.

I love to read about flawed characters – the more specifically messed up the better, because the words on the page then feel like an act of vulnerability, which is something I deeply admire. This kind of vulnerability also feels like a kind of honesty which is something that I aspire to cultivate in both my life in general but also in my writing. Because of this I think, I’m drawn to memoir. Writing about my life has helped me understand my life – and doing so feels like a way to be honest with both myself and whomever is reading it.

But I’m often not the only character in the personal essays I write and I’ve been thinking more and more about how each person I choose to represent in some way or another becomes collateral damage for my own selfish wants. The two things that I value most right now are honesty and relationships, but in a memoir, or an investigation piece these seem to be mutually exclusive. I could write about a person, fangs and all, and I’d love to do it, but even if that writing is smart and nuanced and handled much better than I’m likely currently able to handle it, does it justify the potential of a lost relationship? And if it doesn’t, than how much do I really value honesty? Or if I’m more than willing to do it, as long as the person never reads it, than how much do I really value either?

The main assumption that I also keep bumping my head up against is “that I actually know what I’m talking about – that I see these people in ways that they’re incapable of seeing themselves  and therefore my version of them equals truth, which I have a interest in capturing and a responsibility to capture accurately.” And I know that’s arrogant, and likely impossible but I keep doing it anyway.

Is there a way for me to ‘safely’ tread this line? (The main assumption here being that I want to, or should want to ‘safely’ write) And if not, then how can I be the most ethical while also being nuanced and interesting. Is there a way to do that without compromising what I believe is valuable and or losing a relationship

I don’t really know if this is a topic – or how this would manifest itself so any suggestions/thoughts would be more than welcomed.

Another random thing that I’m kind of interested in is I bought a hand lettering tutorial last summer because I wanted to learn how to create beautiful and elegant letter forms. But as part of that, I get these emails from Sean (that’s the guy’s name) twice weekly with all kinds of advice about chasing your dreams and ways to align your passion with your work etc. etc. with podcasts and everything. They their own folder in my email because I love that stuff and at some point I would really like to read/listen to all of them. But I’m also kind of baffled by him and the emails all at the same time. 1) how does he constantly feel like he has a revelation he needs to share with the world 2) what makes him so confident the world wants to hear it and 3) why does this kind of writing seem more and more common place. I think in one he explicitly says that this part of his work – and even though he’s giving it out for free (I only paid once for all of the tutorials) is crucial to his success, but I still don’t understand how that’s possible. I signed up to learn how to do art, not necessarily to hear platitudes. So there’s a potential angle of blog culture and why so many small businesses see it as essential.

Jamie Monville Prose Deficiency

This gem begins my “why I write” essay before my class:

I have a very clear vision of one assembly I went to in 4th grade. A children’s author came to discuss the book she had written. She was not especially impressive in any way. I know this because I don’t remember her name, her book or even what she looked like. What I do remember, is her answer to a question a classmate of mine asked. “When did you decide to become a writer?” he wanted to know. A perfectly legitimate question. He was practical this kid; he wanted know how long he had to decide if writing was for him.

There are a lot of filler words that are wishy-washy and confusing. Perfect way to start an essay right?


Higher Education Bubble

The article linked below definitely appeals to the audience of college kids, who have probably seen Caddy Shack. But even if they haven’t, like me, the language and explanation is easy and accessible so you still understand what’s going on. I thought it was a creative way to analyze this phenomenon and I think more students my age and students thinking about applying to college would understand this concept when presented in this way.

I also chose to include the link of this video because I think it does a better job of explaining what’s actually going on. The fact that it’s a video definitely helps to appeal to the audience , however I don’t think it’s necessarily as accessible as the other other article. The only reason I say that is the voice is obviously a middle aged man who no longer has to deal with this and for the majority of the video he doesn’t address the actual subjects, just discusses the phenomenon. He does address at the end however so that helps.

Jamie Monville Bio

Hey, I’m Jamie.

Here are some things that make me weird:

  • I’m 4′ 11” (Which does not make me a midget no matter how many times you ask.)
  • I don’t like milk. (It’s probably why I’m so short.)
  • I don’t like breakfast food. (But I have to eat breakfast, so I tend to get made fun of for the foods I do choose to eat.)
  • I basically know the entire script of Finding Nemo. (And quote it regularly in conversations throughout the day.)
  • I don’t like numbers divisible by 5. (They’re too neat for my liking.)
  • If I ask for the time and it’s 4:08, I want you to tell me it’s 4:08, not ‘ten after’  (It’s partially because of the divisible by 5’s thing but it’s also an accuracy thing.)
  • I’m REALLY into typography. (Fonts.)
  • I have to use the bathroom quite frequently. (I realize that’s probably more than you wanted to know, but I think you deserve an accurate representation of who I am.)
I have normal aspects too:
  • I’m an English Major who wants to go into Publishing
  • I come from Waterford, Michigan
  • I’ve played Softball, Volleyball, Basketball and Football (as much as they let me) ran Track and Cross Country, and did gymnastics throughout my life.
  • I’m an avid reader
  • I love Michigan in the summertime.
Also of relevance:
  • My mom is my best friend.
  • My boyfriend and I have the same name.
  • I’m probably too self aware for my own good.
  • I love children.
  • I shy away from politics.
  • I’m a huge pushover, but I’m learning not to be.
  • I appreciate the beauty in little things.
  • I’m still trying to figure out what it means to be me.


Writing About Love

I decided to focus on the language in amateur love poems. The language that is used is often so vague that in the author’s attempt to describe love, they rely primarily, or in some cases solely, on cliches. Because they’re not saying anything new or interesting, I have a hard time believing that these people have ever  actually been in love, and in that way they’re being unreliable. Its very easy to do, so I provided several examples.

– Jamie Monville