Final Reflection: On Writing

Since wanting to become an author at an early age, I have done many types of writing in various environments. Writing is universal; its ability to transcribe one’s thoughts, feelings, and ideas, into a form mutually understood by the writer and their audience (if they have one) makes it an essential form of communication in nearly all cultures. Writing is a skill, a technique, a habit, a pastime, an art. Out of all the people that write, few would consider themselves writers.

Writing as an every day occurrence is so second nature to most people that they wouldn’t use it as a defining factor to describe themselves. We write every day, in the form of shopping lists, sticky note reminders, texts to our friends, and little strings of words that may seem insignificant. Each of these forms of writing, however, mean something; they show who we are by detailing who and what we interact with, as well as how we interact with different people and situations.

Different classes of people are drawn not only by content written, but also by the environment they best write in. Some people prefer complete silence, others leave the TV on or sit next to a window on a particularly chirpy day to immerse themselves in the ambience of their surroundings. I personally like writing in bed, either on a laptop or in a paper notebook or sketchbook. This often leads to problems since I can get too relaxed or comfortable and distract myself from the actual work I should be doing. Because of this problem, here in college I have adopted an affinity for working at the library (specifically Carnegie). The atmosphere in a college library specifically meant for quiet work exerts a certain pressure on me that makes me uneasy when I slack off or somehow end up watching a food video on Facebook. The people around me all seem so dedicated and diligent that I feel like I have to rise to their same level of productivity.

Although I find I can easily churn out a great sum of work on a laptop because of the speed with which I can type on a keyboard, there is still a simple charm that draws me to write on pen and paper. The things I write by hand are typically more personal and the sort of thing that I write only for myself, in some form of catharsis or tranquility. If I’d like to write something to be seen, I type it out on my computer, where I can easily give my potential readers a link to view the content immediately. If I’m writing a short piece, like a poem or some other grouping of words meant to be shorter than about a page, it’s likely I’ll use a pen and paper. Longer pieces, like a short story or a novel excerpt with yet no novel to be taken from, would end up on the computer. However, as I continue sharing my work with others, I’m even more likely to be writing on the computer. At the moment, I have a Google document with five or so poems of varying length that I composed somewhere in the last two or so weeks. I can very simply copy those which I choose to share and send them off tho whoever has been granted reading access. Writing things on paper has a sort of finality to it; I have written this once and now there remains only one copy. To take a picture of a piece of paper and send it to people somehow seems like more effort. Not that I would mind exerting the effort, but then it’d look like I’m really dying to have my work seen, instead of casually sharing what I’ve done with others.

In a given week, I probably engage in three forms of writing: homework, social communication, and private words. Homework is the most formal, with the most rules dictating syntax and manners and courtesy. This blog is homework, and I type with capital letters where they should be and include punctuation where I deem necessary. Social communication is far more casual; it even has an unspoken etiquette in place that winces at proper capitalization and punctuation. Private writing is a mix of the two. There aren’t really any rules in place, because I’m the only one reading what I make. Even if I choose to share it, it still was created first for solely selfish purposes, whatever they may have been.

I try to adapt myself to be open to any and all types of learning. I’d like to envision myself as a mutable being that can absorb information however it is presented. Having hands on, immersive experiences is very helpful. For example, my language skills have remarkably increased from listening to Spanish standup, turning on Spanish subtitles when available in my English-speaking shows, and playing Pokemon in Spanish. Although I think I can get by however a subject is taught, I’m conditioned to perform well in a traditional classroom environment by paying attention and taking notes. I say notes help me study but honestly I haven’t been very good at studying because I’ve been able to do decently well without it. I’m aware this arrogance might lead me astray as I progress further in college courses and will give my best effort to adapt to succeed.