The purpose of this essay is to analyze my writing. At this point in time, I know that my writing can be improved. Writing is an important part of becoming educated and is also important for many different jobs that you can hope to have. This post will discuss several different aspects of my writing. I will discuss my personal history with writing by explaining what kind of writing I have done in the past. My past experience in writing has shaped myself as a writer. As such, it is important to understand the past in order to understand my writing (Barrass 2002). I will also keep track of everything I write for a 24-hour period and report the results of this in a table. I will also discuss what I noticed about my writing in this particular period. I will also experiment with writing by placing myself in different physical environments and by employing different writing tools. In so doing, I will discuss the different environments and the role they have come to play in my development as a writer. Two other things will be done in the post. One is to discuss another writing assignment I had in a different class, and how I interpreted the text I created. The other is to videotape myself writing. The comments I will provide on the video will help demonstrate my abilities as a writer who will experiment with and develop my skills.
I first learned to write in school, as most people do. Sometimes I would practice at home in order to get better at it. But it was very difficult, especially since English is not my first language. But because English is used in so many parts of the world, it was possible to practice using many different methods. These methods include watching television programs and reading newspapers and magazines.
There are two specific occasions that I remember doing some writing. The first was when I had an assignment at school, where I was instructed to write a poem. The poem could be on any topic, but it was suggested to us that we might write about a friend or a relative and how such a person makes us feel. So I wrote the poem about my mother, since we have always had a special and very close relationship. I don’t have the poem anymore, but I asked my mother about it and she said it was good. She said that she was surprised that I was writing that well at a young age, especially since the poem had to be in English. I would say that that has been the biggest challenge I have faced as a writer and in the course of my development as a writer. In short, it is not easy to write well when you have to focus so much on getting the grammar right and on using the right words. But I think I have done pretty well in the circumstances.
The second strong memory I have concerning writing comes from when I was older, when my mother encouraged me to write to my aunt, who lived far away. As such, we did not get to see her very much. She was sick, and my mother said that we might not get to see her again. Writing to my aunt was not an easy thing to do since I don’t even remember meeting her because I was so young at the time. I did not want to write the letter in question but my mother kept saying that I should do it. So I finally did, and afterwards I was glad for the learning that it gave me and because I think it helped me to build strong skills as a writer. The letter was very short but I tried to put as many emotions as possible into words. Even though I didn’t remember her very well, I still had strong feelings for her since she was family and since our family has always been very close and tight-knitted. I think an important part of writing is being able to put your feelings into words in a clear and accurate way. Both of the experiences I have talked about helped to achieve such goals.
I usually write in my dorm room or at the library. However, the library can be noisy even though people are supposed to be quiet, since people are studying. I should note that there is a big difference for me between reading and writing. I can read and focus on what I am reading, even if people are talking in the room. In short, I can just block out the noise. But I find that I can’t write when it is very noisy. I think this is because writing is more demanding and that with writing you cannot be as passive as you can be when reading. Of course, while reading and writing, it is important to pay attention at all times. But writing is harder and that is why I think I need more quiet and concentration to write than when I do sit down to read.
Another thing that is hard for me in my writing is that when I learned to write English it was mostly without a computer. Now all of my assignments like this one require me to type the essay. In general, this takes me longer because I never had a class on typing. But I understand why the assignments are like that because some people have very bad handwriting and the teacher couldn’t read what the student was writing if it were not typed on a computer (Case 1985). That being said, I keep improving typing skills. Furthermore, to be honest, I almost never write anything out by hand anymore unless it is just a note to myself on a post-it note, or if I am leaving a message to my roommate.
I have also tried writing at a local coffee shop. It turns out that this only works if I’m just writing something like on Facebook or writing a text to my friends. If it is something that is for school, or something that is not fun to write, the noise is too much for me to concentrate. But I think that if I practiced trying to write in a noisy room, then I might be able to get better at it. I also think that it matters how much you are interested in what you are writing. There are some subjects that are more interesting for people to write on that other subjects. For example, if you are writing an assignment on your favorite book, in that case, this subject would be more interesting to you and, as such, you might be able to concentrate, even if you are sitting in a noisy room. But if you are writing on something that is not interesting to you, like Shakespeare or history, then you will need more concentration and more quiet if you can right effectively in a noisy environment that is full of distractions.
Relating Text to an Initiating Text
Part of the assignment for this post is to talk about an initiating text. I am choosing another writing assignment for another class that was an English class. The assignment was to write about a short story that we read by Herman Melville. The story was called ‘Bartleby a Scrivener’ and it was about a really odd gentleman who went to work copying written works, but this story was set in a time before photo copying came into existence, so everything had to be written out by hand. The assignment was to say how the narrator related to Bartleby and why he tolerated his very eyebrow-raising mannerisms. The assignment told us to provide examples from the text so as to support our answers. As such, I said that the narrator, Bartleby’s boss kept repeating that he tolerated the man’s behaviour because Bartleby was so polite and never raised his voice. Although the other employees thought that the young man should not get away with his mannerisms, he did so repeatedly. He even stopped doing his job for a while but was not fired. I wrote about this attitude that the boss had and my answer was that he really liked Bartleby and that is why he didn’t fire him right away. I got a good mark for that essay, even though the teacher said that I made some important grammatical and syntax mistakes.
I do not normally write much on Snapchat, but it is a good way to communicate with people who live far away. One day, a friend of mine in Oregon contacted me, wanting to know how things were going with university. She did not have my cell number, so after I gave it to her we continued the conversation via texting. She recently moved to Salem with her boyfriend, and we talked a lot about that. He seems like a nice guy but he always gave me the creeps. But she seems happy, so I was happy for her. As for my Facebook activity, it is the usual, updating my timeline and responding to a couple of friends who were just posting things they had recently been doing.
Observe your Writing Process
I am including in this post the video that I took of myself writing at my desk. It felt very weird and self-conscious to be videotaped while I was writing, at first, but after a while I got used to it. What I notice most now about the video when I watch it is that I don’t sit still very well. A bad posture is said to be a sign of being uncomfortable or bored in what you are doing. I could have made the video longer but the assignment was just to include a short clip. As such, I will work on my posture in the near future.
In conclusion, I have learned three things about myself as a writer by penning this paper. The first thing I have learned is that there is more to writing than just sitting down and putting words on a piece of paper or onto a computer screen. Part of writing is expressing who you are, and so if you care about yourself you may be able to express your identity best using words (Bidwell 1995).The second thing I have learned is that the details of the writing process matters to what you end up writing. Prior to this assignment, I would never have thought about so many of the things that matter to writing such as your personal history and the experiences you have had as a writer as well as and the environment that you are writing in. Another thing that came as a surprise to me was the fact that a past assignment of writing could matter and influence the way you write today. The past influences the present, they say, and I see now to what extent that expression is true and holds some grain of truth. In particular, I never would have thought that recording myself writing and thinking would have helped me to become a better writer. Writing is a skill that a lot of people never really think about but that can be a big part of your life (Dillard 1989). And if you become a better writer, you will be able to communicate better with people and even become a better person at your job, whatever your job might be. In conclusion, writing is an activity that I deem more important and more complicated than I ever thought possible.
- Barrass, R. (2002). Scientists Must Write: A guide to better writing for scientists, engineers and students. Psychology Press.
- Bidwell, L. D. M. (1995). Helping students develop a sociological imagination through innovative writing assignments. Teaching Sociology, 401-406.
- Case, D. (1985). Processing professorial words: Personal computers and the writing habits of university professors. College Composition and Communication, 36(3), 317-322.
- Dillard, A. (1989). The writing life. Landmark essays on Writing Process, 225-226.