Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Self as Writer

This is my first assignment for college writing 101. It was a class I was under the impression I didnt have to take but when forced into it decided to use it to explore the written side of me. This is just the first draft and will be tweaked and perfected later.

    I am an inspiration based writer. My inspiration comes from the spoken word, a memory, or a new idea. Only when I have passion for the subject am I truly writing. My writing also reflects my life at the time. My interests tend to flow into my work and allow me to become passionate about something mundane.
    My earliest memory of writing was in third grade. The assignment was to write about something or some experience that is important to you. I chose to write about my pet raccoon that had recently died. It was the first time I experienced death and the feeling of loss. It was something I needed to share. Even at an early age I chose a subject that I would want talk abut and I found important at the time.
    Eight grade was another time in life I found inspiration in writing. I have many memories surround a semester long research paper. Unsure of what to write about I turned to my curiosity of cars and technology. At the time the hot topics were electric cars, hybrid engines, and alternative fuels. I would spend vast amounts of time staring at the computer searching publication databases for any article I could find talking about car technology. The new and radical ideas were just what I needed to write.
    After that writing was always outside of me. I did assignments but never really wrote. As time went on my ideas drifted from writing to the spoken word. Sometimes the spoken word can be harsh. The person speaking can ramble and stumble with words but sometimes there are specific comments, sentences, and conversations that just flow . Each word is perfectly and beautifully selected to form a complete though and could not have been articulated any other way.    
    The next time my pen passionately touched paper was not until college when I began to drink coffee and smoke cigarettes. The inspiration came from both the physical effect it had on my body and the social aspects around the two. When I drink coffee, I generally like to talk to someone. As the cup of coffee empties my mind is filled with thoughts and opinions. I feel inspired and my thoughts connect clearly. The spoken word becomes more like the written word because I am articulate and precise with what I say.
    Similarly when I smoke, it is usually accompanied by conversation and a confidence in what and how I speak. As the cigarette approaches the filter the conversation picks up and the nicotine kicks in, igniting my brain with a fire of thoughts and words. When picture a writer I see someone with an old typewriter sitting next to window or sitting at a table alone with a pad of paper each accompanied by an ash tray and a stale cup of coffee. I gained a confidence in my writing because I was the coffee drinking smoking writer in my imagination.
    This introduction to the social aspects of my thoughts inspired me to write like I spoke. I took the feeling and stimulation of the conversation and applied it to my writing. Writing came easy with the right combination of inspiration, caffeine, and nicotine but I did not question my writing ability.
    It was not until I had to give up one of my three pillars of writing that I had difficulty. I was diagnosed with mild heart condition but was restricted from drinking coffee or caffeine in any form as well as kick the smoking habit. I had to re-evaluate the way I had been writing. It also coincided with the writing of my senior thesis paper for photography.  Unable to use the crutches I had previously relied on to write, I found new methods to organize and convey my thoughts. I came to understand my use of conversation in writing and began to write as if I were speaking to someone. I come up with the question then expound on the subject without hesitation.
    Now with a clearer understanding of how I write and think, words have returned to my pen. Just as I have grown up and evolved so has my understanding of how and why I write.

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