I Am Not A Writer … am I?

I have friends who are journalists, writers and English students. I also have friends who keep incredible, up-to-date and fascinating blogs. I consider them all to be writers. But I never considered myself a writer. So when John Cantwell, tutor of the ‘Writing: Style, Voice and Process’ class in the D-Crit program asked what kind of writing style I had, I was a little surprised. I joined D-Crit program at SVA to learn how to write and to find a voice for my ideas. I am not a writer yet.

With the help recommended reading such as E. B. White and John Strunk’s ‘Elements of Style’, I am learning the proper grammatical terms for writing techniques I have always done naturally in e-mails, job and college applications or more recently in blog posts. I borrow a lot from how I speak. (And it seems that when I speak I use a lot of ‘dependent clauses’. Good to know!)

I wasn’t too intimated when I began my undergraduate thesis. But I also never really thought of it in terms of writing. I considered it like another design project. I love design and enjoy researching to find out more about it. When I begun editing and re-working my thesis, I thought of this organisation as laying out book for a design project. I physically cut scraps of paper – printed, photocopied handwritten and otherwise – and pasted it in order on sheets of paper. (As it turns out, my mother also did this when she wrote her first book this year.) I re-organised and rearranged it. I cleaned up sentences and paragraphs like I would clean up my designs to make them clearer or more modern looking. I thought of extracting words as extracting superfluous design patterns.

Perhaps that is a writing or drafting process, I just didn’t realise. Maybe I am a writer. Sure if Miley can do it, I probably can too.

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1 Response to “I Am Not A Writer … am I?”


  1. 1 Liam September 15, 2010 at 7:28 am

    We are all writers in the way all of us are artists or plumbers. We all write different ways, and different styles. Some of the best writers I know are not writers. I often feel bad because some of them are by far more talented than I could ever be, but becoming a successful writer is the last thing on their minds, yet its the only thing I want. It must be all relative.


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