I have never been much of a writer (or a reader for that matter). I have always felt that writing was too tedious and too open with possibilities. Which is funny, because I want to design buildings for a living, and that is one hell of a design process. But writing requires words, and there are thousands of words with thousands of iteration structures. And not only that, but often times, it requires us to read other people’s words, and shocker, we have to understand them too. Each word has a meaning, and each sentence is saying something important. It’s just too much energy for something I didn’t ask for. I guess I am more of an “actions speak louder than words” person. I would pick going outside over reading any day, which is probably why I suck at reading comprehension. Or I could spend weeks working with the manipulation of space and structure, instead of the weeks it takes me to write an average paper.
Yet I will admit, since taking this class, I have begun to open up to writing as a non-torturous act. Yes, Madelyn Rosen admits that she sort of enjoys writing now. But I still don’t think it was completely my fault. K-12 English and writing classes were not the best experiences. It made me believe that there was a right and a wrong way to learn, process things, and create final products. Everything had to be structured with unusual acronyms, like POWER or MEAT. Vocabulary and spelling memorization felt pointless. Supporting evidence was annoying because you have to go find it, and taking my “word” wasn’t enough. Page after page after page, talking about the same thing in seven different ways. I just didn’t get it. People would always say English was their favorite subject because there is no such thing as right or wrong answers. But I totally disagreed because no matter how much I thought I was “justified”, I would come back with a “C” or maybe a “B”. How liberating is that.
Of course, I understand that all those things were important to learn and they made me the writer I am today. In fact, since college I have gotten much better grades on papers, and I’m sure it was because of all the things I didn’t like in high school. By no means am I saying that I am a perfect writer now, and I didn’t exactly grow to like it. I am just realizing now that I can enjoy something I once hated. It must have been the ‘Moody Locals’, the blogs, the corny videos, and the freedom of manifestos, that set me on the right path.
It doesn’t have to be hard anymore. My biggest problem in the past was trying to be a perfectionist and check all the boxes of writing as quickly as possible. My mentality was to sit down, and not leave until it was finished. But that is not how it should work. Ideas need to fester and words need to develop creatively. I’m sure as a result, my writing suffered too. Now I am learning to write in a completely different way, a better way. Thank you for allowing my stressful relationship with writing to come to a simmer!