Why Am I A Writer?

As I bring my blogging side back to life, I took the time to reflect on myself as a writer. Why do I write? Why do I want to teach writing? What makes a writer? I turned in a paper about it and below are what I felt were the most important parts. My professor who graded this left so many positive comments that I wanted to share my thoughts with the internet world. Welcome to the new Peace & Blessings - I'm so glad to be back. 

Writing is a powerful source of communication, and I myself take it extremely seriously. I write because it’s powerful. I discovered this force at a very young age, and because of that I write daily, whether it is a blog post, a list, a stream of consciousness, or a note to my friend. Being able to create something that can move people, or get them to think, is something I dreamed of doing as a little girl. If you had asked me 10 years ago my goals in life, writing a book would have been one of them, and this still stands true today. Every book has a purpose – to entertain, to inform, etc. My motivation behind writing is ultimately to help people. This is something that came at a very young age as well, specifically because of my experiences with books and writing. The stories inside my head were transferred onto paper, as I lay sprawled out on my bedroom floor. I would fill up notebooks with different ideas and characters that I created in my head. When I got into computers I conjured up gaming ideas and journal articles that I could post online. But even before then, I spent hours and hours reading. I was the student who enjoyed “20 minutes of reading” for homework and spent their free time reading on a beanbag chair. Once I would finish a book (or a series) I would start writing sequels that helped me find closure from the mythical world that the book had taken me too. My love for books is just as important as my love for writing, because its part of my cycle that I go through. I can’t create without reading what is created, and I can’t be a writer without being a reader, can you?
 Looking back at my childhood, I have a lot of negative memories. Anxiety and anger consumed my adolescent life, making everyday things hard – especially relationships. Friends were always temporary and my family dynamic wasn’t something special. The closest person I had was 700 miles away thanks to a divorce, so I turned to books and writing. Writing became the outlet that I needed and I don’t think I would be where I am today if I hadn’t discovered such a creative way to handle the tornado of emotions I was dealing with as a 15 year old girl. Having the family dynamic I had fueled my writing, even if it sometimes involved throwing the book and crying or writing down things I might not have said had I been calm instead of angry. But it’s what got me through the toughest times in my life, and through that I discovered its power – both to heal and to inspire. Because writers had inspired me, I wanted to do the same for other people.
 When I think about the world, I feel pretty insignificant. I can’t imagine anything that I have to say being important enough to make a different, but that doesn’t mean I don’t try. When college started I discovered blogging – ultimately this would be my main outlet to help people. I intertwined my own experiences with controversial topics in hopes of talking about things and finding solutions to peoples problems. I wrote about dealing with anxiety and stress; I wrote about surviving the college transition and making the most out of your experiences here; I wrote about teaching children and how to better understand this generation of students. Sure, maybe those things were insignificant to some, but after a while the messages started flooding in and I was being told things like “I really love reading your blog!” and “You’re an amazing writer, and this post helped me a lot”. Making a difference through writing is what I am passionate about and I think it comes in many different forms (which to some might be bad) – but I think that answers the question of why we need to write. We need to write because it’s a way to express ourselves and stimulate our feelings. Some writing will make us angry and others will make us cry, but either way we are being stimulated in such a way that we’re thinking about topics that without reading and writing, we would have passed by ignorantly.
 A teacher is supposed to encourage students and help them grow as individuals. They are there to guide them in their studies and mold them into intelligent, powerful citizens. I think the general idea behind a k-12 Language Arts teacher is “grammar grammar grammar!” and that is absolutely not the case. Yes, the mechanics of writing are important and teaching Standard English is something that should be in the curriculum, but we need to look beyond that as teachers. We need to look at writing as an art form rather than a mechanical skill. Whether you are writing a cover letter or a short story, you’re making something from scratch. Having the creative ability to do that is so much more important than teaching a child the difference between a colon and a semi colon. Some of my favorite teachers embodied this idea into their teaching philosophy. They made sure their students succeeded in tests, but also felt empowered while reading and writing. They made sure it was enjoyable to the student, which from my own eyes, I don’t see in school that often. Sometimes I think this way of thinking, as a teacher, is bad. I see many traditional classrooms and teachers who would look at my ways of educating and shake their head in distaste. But I also remember students I’ve had, like an autistic 12 year old who threw a fit every time he was asked to write. If he didn’t like the prompt, he didn’t like to write. He was a hands on child who LOVED Legos, so I tried to tweak my assignments so he felt more interested and imaginative. We worked on letters one day, and he wanted to write a letter to a Lego company suggesting new ideas for them to make. Although the original prompt for the assignment wasn’t that open ended, I decided to alter it because I could see how excited and passionate he was. He spent the entire period writing his letter and he didn’t need any extra help. Cutting off a child’s creative flow because it’s not “right” in your eyes is criminal to me. I have had my creative flow cut off by teachers and it’s frustrating. Now that I am a future educator, I want to spend more time encouraging my students to write about what they love, and what they are passionate about, even if it’s not exactly what I expect. Writing is never “bad” and I’ve experienced students, teachers, and professors that have tried to tell me otherwise. Writing is all about perspective and understanding a person – writing can be interpreted in 100 different ways, and none of them are bad as long as you are open to every interpretation.