Overall, the genre of “Why I Write” is really interesting given that it is so unique. A couple of examples I found online demonstrate this as this as The Thought Catalog’s Olson writes about “Why I Write About Politics”. Originally thinking about doing a similar piece for my assignment, I realized that this article showed me a lot of what I didn’t want to accomplish. In almost a condescending way, he writes how he would rather write about something else but it is almost his duty to write about political issues. While it may be true, I don’t feel it lets the audience into the writer’s mind in a way that is insightful or telling. It seems to lack depth to the point where I couldn’t really tell much about the writer in a broader way.
In terms of looking at previous assignments for the MiW, I found two that were great! Daniel Greene’s, for example, was extremely in-depth as it revealed a lot about the writer himself – suggesting motivations and reasonings allowing the reader to independently think in a provoking way. I really liked his openness, especially as he felt conflicted about translating his thoughts to his writings. Overall this was a unique approach to the assignment that gave me a lot of ideas on different ways to approach my own. Allison Raeck’s, additionally, was super relatable as I have also been referred to as a “good writer” by my friends (I write that trying to sound as humble as possible). I found it interesting, and similar to me, that writing is just another “talent” – it doesn’t have to be incredibly deep. Overall, the two previous examples were super helpful and guiding in terms of what previous students have done.
The examples I’ve read, though, have showed me a few things. It’s more impactful when you’re humble and not arrogant, it’s important to be brutally honest with the audience, and I think it would be helpful to provoke the reader to think about your writing background (rather than simply laying it all out there).