Mary Kathleen - Ames, Iowa
Entered on January 14, 2009
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: creativity
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Writing is a process that cannot be defined or really taught. Styles, techniques, and skills differ entirely from person to person, and the most important step in becoming skilled is to understand one’s own self as a writer. This has been a rather difficult process throughout the year for me. It is true that different teachers have different opinions and different preferences when it comes to writing, and thus it has been important to me over the years to remember to stay true to myself. But, or course, staying true to myself didn’t mean refusing to learn and improve. For example, using triplets, getting rid of unnecessary adjectives, and strategically utilizing rhetoric have become highly beneficial tools in my writing arsenal. This class has helped me to narrow and intensify the laser beam in my mind, turning it into a truly powerful force. I hope this can be observed from the beginning to the end of my portfolio.

But by far my best work and the most enjoyable to write was my essay on miracles. In this piece there was nothing to summarize, nothing to restrict, and nothing to organize. I did not need to reach into a bag of rhetorical techniques, nor did I have to strain for smoothly flowing narration. Once the topic cam to me, this essay took all of 10 minutes to write. Remembering to keep my descriptions free from tangling adjectives and unnecessarily long sentences, I simply told it how I remembered. From this essay I learned that, to be satisfied with my own writing, while practice and technique are required for a proper foundation, I do not always need to use strategy. It can come simply from observing and realizing one’s own life, from listening to the wisdom of those who’ve been where we can never go, and from dwelling on our blessings and blessings in disguise. To write well, or at least like what you write, sometimes all you have to do is believe.