I recently wrote a discussion post for my Writing for Publication course which helped me identify myself as a writer.
I answered the following interview questions:
Where and when do you write best? What has been the most successful piece you’ve ever written, and why? What skills have you mastered, and what still eludes you? What is your revision process? Why do you write?
Q: Where and when do you write best?
A: Wherever and whenever the mood strikes me is pretty much when I write best. I’m not quite sure what my “good hours” are yet (as David Huddle calls them), but it seems that most of the time I write at night when I am alone and without distraction. My thoughts seem to flow more easily, and I feel more insightful. Some of my best writing was deadline-driven. Some of my worst writing was completed under pressure due to procrastinating. Although I’d like to say I’m a “highly skilled procrastinator” at times, I want to develop more of a real writing life, as David Huddle described is "not something you do merely for a day or a month or a year".
Q: What has been the most successful piece you’ve ever written, and why?
A: This is a tough question to answer, mostly because I haven’t written many pieces yet. I consider some of my writing assignments from classes to be successful. I have also written songs and scripts that I’ve really liked. However, it’s hard to say which is the most successful without defining what “successful” really means. I think the most successful piece would be one that I am most proud of, one that was able to reach many people, and one that had an impact on the lives of others. Unfortunately, not many of my works have been published yet. So for now, I’ll have to say the most successful piece I’ve ever written is yet to come.
Q: What skills have you mastered, and what still eludes you?
A: I don’t know if a skill is ever truly mastered. I think my skills are constantly growing as I am learning. I haven’t taken an English or writing course since my junior year of high school (and now I’m a junior in college), so I obviously have a lot of brushing up to do on my skills. Nevertheless, I feel comfortable with my spelling (although as I was typing I almost accidentally misspelled that word as “speeling”…), organizational skills, and grammar usage. I have yet to master the art of wording, and often struggle to find the right words to express my thoughts. I am working to expand my vocabulary, and hope that my classes in the Writing & Rhetoric major will help me explore new words.
Q: What is your revision process?
A: I haven’t gotten this down to a science yet…but so far it’s been typing it up (unless I write by hand, then I type it up after), reading through what I wrote way too many times until I basically hate it, re-writing (parts or the whole thing even), re-reading, telling myself it’ll work, wishing it was better, and sometimes asking for a second opinion before submitting. I doubt my instincts a lot, mostly because I have a lack of confidence in myself. I want to improve upon this and develop a more efficient and productive revision process that is conducive to better creations. I connected with also need to learn how to change my contraries within myself into positive elements of my writing. My revision process is currently under revision itself.
Q: Why do you write?
A: I write to express myself. Writing is an outlet for emotions and creativity, and a way to share my word with anyone in the world willing to read it. I want to work similarly to the way Cassandra Troyan (from a recent podcast on “Other People") does, except I don’t know if I’d want to teach. I do want to freelance. I also want to do multiple different things for a career, like she does. I am interested in poetry, traveling, and performance (music). I write songs, blog posts, essays, and I enjoy researching. I want my writings to help people in whatever way(s) that they can. My most “successful” writings give me a feeling of wholeness, completion, and satisfaction. My hopes are that those and other positive feelings can be passed on to others through my writings.
This was an interesting exercise that took me a while to complete. If anyone out there is interested in writing, I strongly suggest you do the same! Ask yourself these question and really think about who you are as a writer and why you write. It really helps! I'd love to hear from fellow writers our there... Feel free to comment!
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