Creative Exercise #1

"Why Write?" (Read Orwell's Essay)

Post a 500 word summary of your experience as a writer, and what you hope to gain in this course. Be sure to tell us what you like to read, your favorite authors/books/stories, and the genre you prefer.

25 thoughts on “Creative Exercise #1

  1. Benjamin Hayward

    I have had limited success as a writer, I have so many stories and ideas in my head, even though writing comes easy to me. 500 word essay? Done. 9 pages with sources cited and an annotated bibliography? What’s next? I excel at technical writing, and it shows in my published academic works, my business plans, my ideas on the back burner, even fun stories. I’ve tried short stories, self-help, video game guides, and academic examples of an author’s style, even now I have the write up for a pilot of a screen play for TV, but haven’t exactly found a template for writing for TV. I am collecting my thoughts for my own Science Fiction Space Opera.

    I enjoy Science Fiction because of the possibilities we see as hopes and dreams. I read it in all its forms, the technology, the mystical, the mythological, alternative dimensions and realities, even the psudo-science works. I find inspiration for my real world patents, copy writes, and ideas from science fiction. The science fiction with ”-utopia” at the ending show us what the potential for our society can be if we go down a certain road. Computer Artificial Intelligence driven to sentience as evil has been proven in Terminator series, Battlestar Galactica, Star Wars, and Star Trek to mention the big names. Exploring these series and more allows me to word crunch my brain to come up with alternative technology and terms to accomplish the same thing as other works.

    Travel from point A to B is required when telling a story on a galactic scale. George Lucas had the hyper drive in Star Wars. Gene Roddenberry had the warp drive in Start Trek. Games Workshop owns the Warhammer 40,000 universe, where they travel through the “Warp” and “Web Way”. Terminator series even traveled through time, albeit different from Dr. Who. My universe I am writing about has 3 different factions fighting on a global scale, told in the 4th person, by wall breaking. I do not like to do cookie cutter, and I have not seen this done elsewhere.

    Writing for me is difficult when it comes to creating drama, suspense, writing my character into a bad situation, and how they solve it. Dialogue and fight scenes I can detail. Same with describing a setting, a location, even emotional response. It is odd, for as much as I love a good knock down drag out fight, I don’t like to create drama. Watching movies and TV, reading science fiction I can’t help but be awed how the plot is strung together.

    I know I need help with character development and the 12 steps to a Hero’s quest. I know I need help with plot development, outlining, and organization of thoughts so the story flows smoothly. Some writes have their stories flip flop point of view which is disorientating. I see this class as a foundation for me to get my fictional works off the ground, try my hand at fiction writing. We have John R.R. Tolkien and George R.R. Martin writing science fiction gold. Who knows, I may be the next author with the “R.R.” in his pen name. First name 2 syllables, toss in the double “R” end with 2 syllables last name. Look out world, here comes Ben R.R. Hayward.

    1. Kelsey

      Your own screen play and Science Fiction Space Opera? What?! That’s so cool! I don’t think I personally know anyone who takes writing seriously like that, so I find that fascinating! To be honest, I’m not a big science fiction reader, other than mandatory readings for classes, which I always end up enjoying so I’m not sure why I don’t pursue them more. Your passion for the genre shines through though, even in just a short 500 word assignment. I look forward to reading your work!
      Also, my son is a triple R, R.R.R, so I totally believe in the power of the double “R!” 😀

    2. klmarshall2

      This was an interesting piece. There was a nice use of questions in the beginning of your piece and I think its a great way to engage the reader into your discussion. Looking for a way to describe a scene is important to paint a mental picture for readers. The description of the things you want to learn is a good reminder to the reader about just how much goes into creative writing. There are multiple skills to be developed and you have an array of areas that hadn’t initially crossed my mind! Thanks.

  2. Kelsey

    My experience as a writer is much less than my experience as a reader. I have always been obsessed with reading. My mom taught me to read before kindergarten and I remember feeling like my whole world opened up. Our trips to the library were my favorite outing. I would spend time feeling the book covers and smelling the pages. The smell of book pages is still one of my favorite smells and washes over me in a nostalgic wave. (Why don’t they make scented wax cubes called “Library” or “brand new books”?!) As I got older, I was always the kid who had a book with me, or spent the few extra minutes between class bells getting in a page or two. I just needed to finish that chapter! I’ve never read a book that I didn’t enjoy in some way, even the ones you get assigned and think are going to bore you to tears. I’m fascinated by an author’s way of stringing together plots and characters, putting together flashbacks, and ability to describe scenes in such detail. You can escape to an entirely different world, and who doesn’t want or need that every once in a while?

    Drama and suspense have always been my favorite genre. I love the excitement of the plot twists, crazy characters, and unexpected turns in the story. I love murder mystery, and true crime books were a big passion of mine for a long time. However, having children has made me a little weary of reading these types of books anymore, I find myself becoming too wrapped up in the idea something like what’s happening in the books happening to my children and turns out to be more depressing and worrisome than enjoyable. Reading has always been my favorite way to learn, so I’ve traded in (most) of the murder mystery books for parenting books and I guess you could say that’s my new favorite genre. I like hearing other people’s stories about parenting and I like to feel prepared to make my little humans the best possible versions of themselves. I also really enjoy nonfiction, and usually get fascinated with a certain topic and spend a lot of time on it. In the past it’s been the Holocaust or true crime, and most recently it’s been the culture of prostitution in old gold mining towns (thanks Cripple Creek!).

    You would think after hearing this that of course I would try my hand at being a writer, or even be good at writing, but that’s not really the case. When it comes to academic writing, I do pretty well, words generally come easy to me and I can get enough thoughts together in an organized manner to put together a pretty decent paper, but not so much when it comes to creative writing. I remember thinking as a kid, that I wish I was artistic or creative in some way but I just seem to be a little too analytical and neurotic for that to happen. Writing poetry has always been terrifying to me so that should be an interesting hurdle this semester! I hope to gain skills that enable me to string together a decent poem, improve plot and character development, and just learn to get ideas down on paper and then start the combing through process of finding a story.

    1. Kait Topkok

      Yes! I would get stuck reading a book, whenever I can, to find out what happened to this set of characters like bringing my book to the table when I was eating. Out of all of my friends, I am always the one reading a book, so they come to me whenever they want a good read. In high school, I love how my teacher always found a way to keep us interested in reading like reading the Uglies series or the Divergent series, even the people who didn’t like reading were excited to finish the book and watch the movie. My sister learned a lot from her parenting books, but she loves her crocheting pattern books to make all of her kids some cute hats, which is so cute, maybe someday when I have kids, she’ll pass them onto me. It’s amazing how books can teach you how to do something or understand from a different point of view or put you into the author’s story and make you feel a characters emotions.

  3. Jess Young

    I always thought if I could concentrate long enough, I’d be a good writer. In high school, I was the Drama Club President and for every elective I chose an English class. From science-fiction to journalism to technical writing, if it required me to bang out an essay or read a book, I was guaranteed to enjoy the assignments. My boyfriend at the time and I would write, produce, and create short films in our spare time, the most notable of which was a story about a killer mailbox filmed in the style of the movie “Alien”. Somewhere along the way, my priorities shifted and now I write only for work and school. This is likely due to the fact that I have no attention span for sitting still without a looming deadline and my career choice in emergency services offers few opportunities for creative expression. Occasionally, I am presented with the opportunity to create and facilitate training to my peers which greatly appeals to my roots as a Drama Club Nerd.

    Growing up, I loved to read science fiction, fantasy, and graphic novels; as I got older I experimented with some gritty fiction such as Chuck Palahniuk and Kurt Vonnegut. There was a time when I could tell you Batman’s entire back story, how the 80’s changed comics forever, and the twisted parallel psychology between the Joker and his arch nemesis. Now, as a career paramedic, part-time student, and wife-mom I rarely have time to read for pleasure, but when I do I tend to fall asleep with Game of Thrones or Outlander books on my face and drool leaking through the pages. Most of my reading and writing time is spent with continuing education articles, doing college assignments, writing performance evaluations (which can get creative!), and perusing the occasional Little Tikes assembly manual… Which is why I chose creative writing as an elective for my Bachelors in Emergency Management. I figured if I could get three credits out of a class and be forced to sit quietly while expressing my thoughts, perhaps I could find some relaxation amongst the chaos of everyday life.

    My long term goals in life are not to become a writer. I want to become the best paramedic I can be, someday go back to firefighting, and when I’m too old to save people with my bare hands anymore, I want to retire and teach. I always found the most interesting people in the world to be the creative types. They are the ones people like to listen to, because they know how to express themselves in unique and entertaining ways. A Creative Writing course seems like a great way for me to broaden my horizons as an instructor and force out some of those creative juices. I look forward to the challenges this course brings. And who knows? Maybe I’ll dust off a Batman comic for some inspiration along the way.

  4. Kait Topkok

    As a writer, I’d like to express my writing more clearly, in the past my writing would be easily run on the same idea.In high school, my favorite paper to write was the paper about the pros and cons about living in the village and then comparing it to living in the city. I’ve taken a Intro to Writing class a few years ago and in that time, I wrote a paper about my sister who passed away and what I went through. With this class, I hope to be able to write more clearly with more descriptive contexts. It’s important for me to learn all of the different writing techniques such as the way George Orwell writes and his influencers. I’d like to also make the understanding of they’re writing more clearly. I’m not so good with understanding writing such as the level to where Mr. Orwell writes about how he would unknowingly write about his politics, but I do agree with him when he says you can’t know a writers motives without knowing how the person grew up. I remember having writing topics about you’re favorite animal in elementary school, but once I was in the college level, I was writing more complex writings about my life and everything that affects it like how learning music and my Native dancing make me happy. I’d like to write an essay about my native culture with all of its controversial and positive outlooks and how Alaska can make a difference about it. I’d like to get the village’s problems in a perspective to where it can be acknowledged to find a better solution and bring awareness, so that wherever is fighting the same battles can have a helping hand.
    I remember on the long camping trips with my family, I learned to read by looking at my dads old Archie comics and starting out by looking at the pictures then eventually the reading the small words. My parents would also read to my siblings and I, the one I can remember is Sylvester and the Rose. I love reading To Kill A Mockingbird because it has so many scenes that can make you feel the emotion that Harper Lee sets in that chapter like where Charles Harris starts crying in the courthouse. I also love how it has many different points of view on morals for example, how Mayella learns that its okay to lie from her father Burris whereas Jean Louise learns the opposite from her father Atticus. I also love reading Z is for Zachariah, how dramatic the story is and how the emotion of the book takes a huge and unexpected turn. Mystery and drama books are my preferred genres because it always leaves you wanting more, that feeling to solve the mystery, which is like reuniting a family or finally finishing baking a cake and seeing the whole thing in perspective or tying a bow and finally tying the last loop. With this writing class, I’d also like to get more interested in a broader range of genres of books rather than reading the genre I usually read.

    1. Meghan Geary

      I have the same desire to write more clearly and get my ideas down on paper in a meaningful way, I hope this course helps you on that journey! Your interest in sharing your native culture and bringing positive awareness is so awesome- I would love to be able to read about your point of view!

  5. Lilia Lundquist

    After reading Orwell’s essay, I feel like I can relate to it quite a bit. When I was younger I didn’t necessarily feel like I was destined to be a writer, but I loved to read. I always thought it would be a dream to be able to produce a piece of literary art. The ability to take someone’s mind away from reality, based on strings of carefully laced together words is a unique skill. With that vision in mind, I wrote a handful of poems and short stories which I would then submit into writing contests up until high school. One that I wasn’t particularly proud of was about my cousin. She passed away when I was in 7th grade and though I barely knew her I took the incident as an opportunity to write. Having very little knowledge of this family member, I wrote a short story that romanticized her life. Out of everything that I had put any effort into, that piece got the most attention. My school printed it in our newsletter and my mom sent it to her sister who read it at her daughter’s wake. I honestly cannot even remember a part of it, I think the only reason it got any attention was because it sentimentalized a tragic event.
    I don’t have any recent pieces of writing that I label as memorable. Most of the time when I write it’s for academic purposes that lack any emotion or depth. However, I do find the act to be a sort of stress reliever. I relate to how Orwell reflects on his own reasoning not just through his writing but others as well. I find that when I write even if its for something I don’t feel passionate about, I get a look at how my mind works. Allowing for your fingers to type what your mind envisions feels more intimate than speaking. From this course I hope to acquire a regime that motivates me to write more than for academic purposes. I also am excited to be exposed to the different texts we will be covering this semester.
    More often than not, I tend to read a lot of American literature. I had a Kurt Vonnegut phase where I didn’t branch away from his books for an entire summer. I enjoy short stories, I feel like they hold my attention better than 600-page novels. I also really enjoy the language Henry Miller uses in his writing. I recently finished “The Rosy Crucifixion” trilogy, and while I don’t typically seek out romance or erotic novels I was captivated by the way he portrayed his life. Lately I have been trying to get into more books written by female authors as I have noticed everything I read is written by men. I am currently reading a book by Chris Kraus. I plan on finishing it, not because I find it overly interesting but because mama didn’t raise no quitter. I am very open to any suggestions for good reads. I try to not commit to one genre, to allow myself to get a taste of it all.

  6. Angela Rodriguez

    When I was younger, I was very passionate about writing. I would spend hours creating short stories and poems with my sister. When we went out to town, we would search for a person, animal, or event to write about. The second we got home, we would write and illustrate a book from that muse. I could sit on the floor in my room all night writing these stories. When I was in middle school, these writings were more focused on the drama in my daily life. I would write stories of a girl who faced the same problems I was dealing with at the time. I would just change the names of those mentioned in the story. I still have most of these journals full of my writings. Now, unfortunately, I hate writing. As I got older, I was being assigned more and more academic papers. As I was forced to write more of these boring papers, I was writing less for pleasure. Writing had become an assignment, it was no longer a tool to express myself. I am taking this course to learn how to express my thoughts and feelings into my writing like I did as a child. I want to see if it is possible for me to fall in love with writing again. I am also hoping that this course helps me with my descriptive writing. I have never thought I was that good at explaining anything in words, so I hope that this class will help me develop the skills needed to write in a way that keeps my readers attention.
    Unlike writing, I find pure joy in reading a good book. I tend to read popular novels and a lot of children’s books/novels. I currently am working at a local Elementary school, so reading children’s books is part of my job. My favorite children’s novel is “The Phantom Tollbooth.” Aside from children’s books, I have most recently re-read, “The Five People You Meet in Heaven.” I used to be able to sit down and read a novel or two in one day. Now, between work and school, I find it hard for me to finish a novel in a week!

    1. Courtney Kisner

      I really hope this class helps you reignite your love for writing! I have hope that it will help me express myself as well. I used to love “The Phantom Tollbooth”, since you mentioned it I’m considering reading it again! I have heard about, “The Five People You Meet in Heaven,” it must be good if you re-read it! I agree, it’s also difficult for me to find time to read, work and school affect almost every outlet of life, but it’s for the best!

  7. Courtney Kisner

    I relate to Orwell many times throughout his piece, and when it comes to my childhood, I can clearly see how it has shaped my need to write. For me, writing is communication, that which I cannot articulate into spoken conversation. As an introvert, I can think of these words and they will travel through my hands. Oddly enough, when speaking to someone my thoughts end up coming out in jargon that never seems to represent what I really mean. I’m not sure why that is, maybe it’s some form of social anxiety that gets in the way. Nevertheless, what brings me back to writing is always the same thing. Clutter from life experiences, images I see throughout the course of time, people I meet, and stories they tell, all build up and the only way to gain anything from them is to get this stuff onto paper. Maybe that is the selfishness of the writer in me coming out.

    Like Orwell touches on, writing comes as an instinctual need for me. So I don’t really understand it yet. But it’s quite possible it’s a need to express my past and my individualistic opinions–not necessarily for the world, but to those whom I trust to read my work. Maybe some day I will feel the need to prove something, possibly due to some emotion that has built up over time, but at the moment that isn’t really it. Why I write changes over time. It ebbs and flows; sometimes it depicts complacency and the need to write simply for a class, whereas other times it feels like the only thing left to do. Searching, “for the right words,” as Orwell says, really makes sense. It’s like going through file folders of life experiences, and then having to sew those together with my current emotions and thoughts about life. I feel the need to put myself back into the moment, feel the energy of it, and then find a way to articulate it all into words. Maybe that is why I feel drawn to poetry. I can fuse snippets of charged feelings with images, and make it aesthetic, or pleasing to the ear.

    When it comes to my early development, as Orwell says one needs in order to assess one’s motive, I lived a “quiet” childhood. I am an only child, and the first grandchild, without any cousins or family members that were my age. I grew up feeling a bit different, maybe a bit ‘off’ socially. It was great because I got a lot of attention from adults in my first years and throughout grade school. But it was always a bit lonely, a bit quiet. I was quiet, but my thoughts and observations were something I was always acutely aware of. I have definitely acquired that, “emotional attitude from which [I] will never completely escape,” and I feel it come out in my tone as I put words to paper. I see writing as an art, and I don’t write to produce anything but that (again, maybe that is egoism). However, it is also intertwined with my own truth and philosophies. I pull up the note app on my phone where I frequently jot down lines and verses during the day that I hear, or play with words when I cannot sleep. I don’t love conversation, but writing is like a conversation with myself and a way for me to dissect, and to better-understand my experiences. It really is only through writing that I can hear my internal voice speak to me.

    1. Courtney Kisner

      I just realized I didn’t answer half of the prompt. My favorite authors are John Grisham, Charles Bukowski, and Paulo Coelho. I don’t read nearly enough. I love psychological thrillers and mysteries. Throughout my time spent in this course (and after) I want to have strengthened both my writing and reading skills. I have a lot of ideas and I think it’s time to organize them and put them onto paper.

  8. Draven

    As a writer I haven’t really done much. My writings have always been funny or imaginary too make people happy, but I haven’t truly put my emotions in my works. I’ve always played too the masses, and sometimes that’s tiring. This course I hope to find a way to put my emotions onto paper. I live my life having the ability to put emotion and strength into my speech, but I have never figured out how to put it on paper.
    As a writer my goal is to convey my emotions so others who read it can understand them, and hopefully portray that very emotion in their lives as well. In this world we are desolate, void beings, who can’t truly show our emotions. I don’t like that. I wish for all people just to show others that they truly care, or even love them. Our being is surrounded by ourselves, selfishly clawing for what we want, and not thinking of others. What my wish in my writing, and my life, is too change that side of people.
    To be perfectly honest, I’m a good talker, which is a good skill to have if you want to go into politics, but that’s not what I want to do. The ability to convince people of things has always been easy for me, but I want to do that with writing, to be able to convince people to change is something that, I believe, is worth my time. To give people the strength to continue their lives for others, rather than themselves.
    I guess my stories would push for a romance section, but love is the strongest emotion, that shines through everything. My writing will hopefully bring understanding of ourselves as beings, and each other as more than just strangers on the side walk. My world of writing is far from perfect, but still it’s the imperfections that make it special, unique.
    Sorry if this is a little preachy but that’s what I hope to gain from this course, and as a writer.
    I would say that my favorite book is The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien, I think the balance between comedy and adventure is near perfect in this book. It is by far his best book. The movies ruined it though. Like really they had to make that three movies long, sorry, I’m still mad about that.
    Tolkien isn’t my favorite author though. My favorite author is Rick Riordan, the writer of Percy Jackson and the Olympians. He and Tolkien share the same genre of book; these stories tend to help me escape reality.
    I’ve always taken a shine old myths, Greek, Norse, Roman, I’ve always enjoyed reading these stories since my childhood. The fact that people could overcome difficult tasks with ease made it a thoroughly enjoyable read.
    Thus some of my stories and responses may seem really preachy, but I’m simply portraying my beliefs and emotions onto the paper. You don’t have to agree with what I say, but that’s what is there, for your enjoyment if nothing else.

  9. Tometria Jackson

    Writing has usually served a utilitarian purpose for me; for the most part, I wrote because I had to. There have been times that the activity was pleasurable, and I wished that I had the time and talent to indulge in crafting a fine work, but generally, I’ve written to accomplish a task. I have a few memories of writing as a child, and I enjoyed the creative freedom writing afforded. I had a very active imagination, and it was pleasing to put my thoughts down on paper and see where they lead.

    I have worked with children my whole adult life, and I have used my imagination to create little stories to both amuse and teach whatever concepts I was trying to convey. I once told a story about a mother cat who had baked some delicious cookies and told her kittens that they couldn’t have any until after dinner. When the mother cat returned to the kitchen, she discovered that two cookies were missing, and one of the kittens had cookie crumbs on her fur and whiskers. When the kittens were asked who took the cookies, the one with the crumbs said that she hadn’t taken any. I used this story to explain to my three year old daughter what a lie was, and how important it was to tell the truth. In this way, I could use my natural gift for creativity and combine it with something that served a useful purpose.

    With my decision to pursue my bachelor’s Degree in Social Work, I have rediscovered the joy of writing. Yes, most of it is functional, but I enjoy the process of finding information, researching, and writing my conclusions. I think that my love of reading has been one of the most consistent things about myself from childhood into adulthood. Reading is so beneficial: it stimulates the imagination, it informs, it develops vocabulary, it entertains, and it teaches.

    Currently, my reading interest is in historical fiction; particularly the medieval time period. One of my favorite authors of this genre is Elizabeth Chadwick. Her writing absolutely takes you back in time, and you can see the sights, and smell the smells of England’s historical past. Her character development is second to none, and that is what draws and holds you through the entire book. Another favorite author is Pamela Belle. She wrote a series about a family in 17th Century England that was forced to quarter enemy troops in their country estate while the husband was away fighting for the other side. I love an author who reveals layers and depths of their characters to the extent that you feel like you know them.

    Good writing is a powerful tool; it can inspire, provoke, motivate, and reveal. What I hope to gain in this class is knowledge about how to write well, and I would like to sharpen the skills I currently have. I am also looking forward to reading my classmate’s writings as we all move forward toward our goals.

    1. Brenden Couch

      Hello, my name is Brenden Couch. I have always been an avid writer, as far back as I can remember. My earliest memories include my summers off from primary school, I spent the whole duration handwriting little stories or practicing my handwriting, at no one’s behest aside from my own. As time went on, I became more adept and piecing together story lines, building in depth characters, and painting pictures with words. It was perhaps during this time that I discovered how terrible I was at writing non-fiction, though with age and some perspective I have improved there as well. I have always made a supreme effort to overcome my weaknesses and to find my voice in writing, though I still consider my best work to be in the field of creative writing. However, I have never taken a formal creative writing class and saw this class as offered this summer as an opportunity, so I pounced.
      The closest that I have ever come to having a creative writing class was my fifth grade teacher who was a writing fanatic. She really focused our attention on writing action words and adjectives, it was pretty cool. In ENGL 270 I am hoping to find some necessary criticism in order to strengthen and hone my writing ability. It seems, no matter how good a person feels he or she is, an outside perspective is consistently a valuable asset in striving to grow as a person and as a writer. I am hopeful that this class will provide new information as well as new perspectives whilst introducing me to others with similar interests in writing. I ultimately am hoping this class will serve as a creative outlet to calm me as I have a little one whom I love and who also creates stress as a side effect.
      As far as personal interests go, I thoroughly enjoy well written fantasy books. Examples of books that I have read and enjoy are Harry Potter, Eragon, Percy Jackson, and a few other similar ones whose titles weren’t as memorable. I have also found mystery series quite fulfilling, the most notable series in my memory is the Robert Langdon books written by Dan Brown whose most well known book is likely the DaVinci Code. Unfortunately, it seems in most instances the theatrical adaptations of these books were disappointing. As a final thought on the subject of personal interest, I must include that I enjoy classics as well especially Homer,Dante, and many others when it is clearly translated.

      1. Lilia Lundquist

        Hi Brenden,
        I can tell by the language you used in this response that you enjoy writing. Your sentences are very fluid, I look forward to reading more from you.

  10. Natalee Fleming

    When I was little I used to write these stories and imagine them getting published. As I grew older my love for writing started to disappear when I found out what an essay was. In the past when I comes to essay writing I have not been given the opportunity to choose what it was that I was talking about which is why I dislike writing them some much, when I am passionate about something it makes writing so much easier. Something that I really struggle with are meeting word counts, no matter how many papers that I have written that require word counts I can never make them. When I do write I have a problem of organization, I will start something and then that idea will appear in later paragraphs. At then end of the class I hope that I will love writing again not just stories, but also that I won’t dread writing essays especially essays that don’t interest me.
    During the school season I don’t do a lot of reading because I never really have time for it, which makes me sad because I really love reading. When I do read I like to read I read young adult books. I have two favorite books and authors. My first favorite book is Fault in Our Stars by John Green. I read Fault in Our Stars right after the movie came out, a couple of years ago, and I feel in love with it. I have read that book at least three times which is the most I’ve ever read a book. I bought his new book Turtles all the Way Down, I haven’t started it yet but I’ve heard that it is really good and I am very excited to read it. My second favorite book is a series called The Selection by Kiera Cass, I don’t really know how I fell in love with this series of books, but I did. I have read all five of them, Kiera Cass wrote another book and I tried to read that one, but I didn’t love it as much as The Selection series. I am an Elementary Ed major, so I will sometimes read children books as well, I just finished reading a book called The Wild Robot by Peter Brown and the sequel called The Wild Robot Escapes. I got interested in these books because one of the classrooms I went into was reading The Wild Robot, so when I’d go in to do my fieldwork I would hear pieces of the book. When I had finished my time in this classroom I really wanted to know what was going on in this book, so I ended up buying it and fell in love with it.

    1. Tometria Jackson

      It really does make a difference when we can write what we’re passionate about. I know that for me, I write so much better when I have some sort of emotional investment in my subject. Too often, that is not the case, so when I have a writing project that isn’t interesting, I have to find something to care about or else it will be flat.

  11. Delaney E Reece

    I started writing somewhere between the 7th and 8th grade, after doing journals in class in which I mimicked and stole ideas that I liked from books that I’d read. At some point around this time the book Eragon came out, and the world was all abuzz with the fact that it was written by a 16-year-old. I remember sitting in the living room of my family’s old yellow house, home alone for some reason, and thinking to myself if a 16-year-old could do it then so could a 12-year-old. I began writing my first book in a black spiral notebook which has since been lost in some move or another, and thankfully it was not a very good book and was not going to be my breakout novel.
    I started loving books a little before this in the 5th grade to be exact, and I still love the same genres today, fantasy, science fiction, and historical fiction. The first book I ever picked up and loved was called The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle written by Avi which was a good book, but it was just good. Looking back over it, neither the book nor the story is particularly remarkable or new/life changing but it was the first book to change me.
    Recently, however, I have a newfound love for older more “classic” books, like Frankenstein and 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea for their descriptions and focus on the setting. Because these were the kinds of books I loved they were also the kinds of books and stories I wanted to write so I tried my hand and pen on all of these topics in short stories and attempted novels.
    At the start the reason why I write it was to prove that I could, it was to prove that I was good at something and that I had something to share. That is no longer my motive, and it was only ever my motive for that first book. When I started High School I met an English teacher who took me by the hand and let me write as I wanted and let me learn what I wanted to learn. she is the only person to have read my second novel in entirety. The second novel is one that I wrote for many reasons. At first, I was still trying to prove that I had skill and worth, but there was far more at stake this time around because in the time between these books I had become a complete grown person.
    I am an anthropology major, the small idiosyncrasies of humans are my favorite things in the world. I believe wholeheartedly that if we know enough about a person: their past, thoughts, ideas, ramblings, fears, etc then we can love anyone completely. I wanted to put people on pages that were real, that was not abnormal or particularly amazing, but we’re characters that readers could see themselves in. My goal this time in writing and from here on is to create something beautiful and believable and to make a reader love what feels like real people and places on the page.

  12. Shana Waring

    Creative writing is something I have not done in many years. When I became really involved in music, I spent about a year trying to write music/poetry. I really struggled to put all the pieces together and decided to leave the writing to others. I really haven’t visited any aspect of creative writing since then. I find reading other people’s writing to be far more enjoyable than the process of writing a novel or short story.
    When it comes to reading, I find myself lost in romantic novels with a hint of mystery in the story. The author Nicholas Sparks never ceases to disappoint me. I have also found enjoyment in more suspenseful novels like Misery by Stephen King. The comparison I can draw in each of the stories I’ve finished in these two categories is the continual plot change. Just when you feel like you could write the next chapter yourself, there is a new angle approached. Personally, I don’t believe I have been able to predict exactly what the author put on paper. The setting, action, or possibly character(s) seem to be just a bit different than the direction my subconscious wanted to go.
    I have found great success in my academic writing in the last three years of my college career. Most of my experience as an academic writer has come in the form of research and observation work. I like the fact my writing needs to be more structured. There has to be a timeline of events or there is an ending to the information I am providing my readers. Creative writing can be far more different than such a structured essay. Thus leading me to realize I am wanting to gain the knowledge to write outside of my comfort zone.
    Just within the first two reading assignments, I have come to realize there is often too much thought being put into a script. Being able to let the words, actions, characters, or setting come freely offers a chance for more text to be written. Forcing the story is likely what I was doing when I was trying my hand at writing music. Due to the fact I was so young and inexperienced and truthfully at a point in my adolescence where communication was probably difficult, I see where my struggle to get past my “writer’s block” came from. I hope to learn more techniques and strategies to be able to think more freely and translate that thought to paper. I also would love to take some ideas about thinking from different perspectives from this course. Lamott discusses thinking outside of our normal categorization to really gain a stronger story from what’s around us. This is something which can benefit me both academically and professionally.

    1. Natalee Fleming

      I also admire people that can write poetry. I have always hated writing poetry it is just so hard for me to do. I have a teaching book that has a couple poetry ideas for kids so that they do not grow up hating poetry and I have tried them out on myself and my hate for poetry is less now, but not as much.

  13. Courtney Williamson

    Adding to my comment:
    My experience as a writer has been very depressing instead of colorful. I started when I had my first diary, and continued to write about everything. I remember writing about going to my Aunt and Uncles house because I couldn’t take being home anymore. It was something to escape to. Little did I know I was much worse than I thought. I realized after being an adult I looked up to them as a child for having a stable family, but if my Uncle hadn’t betrayed me, I think I still would be apart of their life. I know now that everything happens for a reason.
    I think after twenty years of writing it has lead me to think that it is important to write down what is on my mind. Especially when its something that I truly feel inside that I cannot talk about in person.
    Sometimes the important to do list or seemingly good ideas can be written down on a piece of paper to be later looked at, rather than forget what just popped up in your mind, can be very reassuring. I hope to gain more knowledge about writing, and how to do it correctly. I read a wide variety of books, but my favorite book series is The Uglies by Scott Westerfeld. I used to own a couple of shelves worth of books full of comic books, manga, and of course the teenage girl starter pack with vampires and romance. Now, it has turned into a couple of video game books, a book about pirates and interesting intercourse. I loved reading R.L. Stine’s Goosebump books, my favorite one from that collection would have to be the Egg Monsters From Mars. I wish to read more and of course write more. I think one of these days I will write an amazing short story, but for now I think I will just learn how to type correctly, and cite my sources.

  14. Meghan Geary

    “I was carrying out a literary exercise of a quite different kind: this was the
    making up of a continuous ‘story’ about myself, a sort of diary existing only in the mind.”

    Throughout reading Orwell’s essay, I found myself relating to many of the experiences he described from his childhood. I have always felt like a creative individual, interested in art, music and literature, and it has always been fairly easy for me to come up with fantastical story lines in my head. My personal struggle has been finding a way to put those stories down in writing. I am an avid lover of poetry, and one of my favorite activities as a high schooler was listening to a piece of music and writing poetry to it; trying to describe the feeling conveyed through the music with words instead was a fun challenge. Like the quote from Orwell above, I have always been good at making up a “continuous ‘story’ about myself”, but applying those thoughts to paper is something I hope this class helps me with.
    I love to read and am interested in many genres, from science fiction to historical non-fiction and everything in between. I would say my interest in reading only ends with novels like 50 Shades of Grey, no offense to anyone who may enjoy books of that nature. Even young adult novels like Harry Potter or The Hunger Games which are easy reads capture my attention with their gripping story lines so much so that I don’t even notice that the writing itself isn’t all that difficult/interesting.
    Dickens is one of my favorite authors, A Tale of Two Cities being my favorite novel by him. His writing is much more dense than any modern young adult fiction of course, but that just illustrates my vast array of interests and tastes when it comes to literature! There are too many poets to name that I enjoy, but I can be very broad and say that I enjoy the Romantic poets more so than just about any other era or time period. There’s just something about the sublime…
    I hope that over the course of the summer this class will help me work out how to put my ideas on paper in an interesting and meaningful way, and combat any writer’s block that may come over me. I’m ready for the creative juices to flow.

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