Sept. 7 Prompt
I thought a lot about this question on my busride home, and part of me kept balking at it. I don't write that to be contrary or overly clever; that's an obnoxious tone that I don't want to set in this class. I just have very little to say in direct response to it. I can think of lessons picked up here and there-- the English teacher who pushed me to use "muscular" verbs instead of passive ones provided a particularly useful one-- but overall, I find myself at a loss when asked to identify pivotal people or events in the development of my writing.
In general, when we try to take stock of our present selves, there's a tendency to look for big watershed moments. These surely exist, but can be overemphasized at the expense of processes which fuel change and development more slowly. My writing, perhaps because I've never really worked at it, has evolved more like this-- quietly and gradually. What's more, I have rarely noticed it happening. Much of the time, I write intuitively, and would be hard-pressed to trace the stylistic tics that characterize my writing to particular teachers, or authors, or projects.
As I'm finishing up that thought, I've realized a project I recently completed that has raised a lot of questions about my own writing processes. I could have written about that, but I want to leave this post, because I think it suggests an issue parallel to that raised in the prompt. For all the lessons and influences we can identify as important to our writing development, much of what we've learned about writing we do unconsciously or intuitively. And so my hanging question for the semester: how can I work to make my own writing process less mysterious in order to help others with theirs?