Welcome to Hell

Juuust kidding (mostly)… But I couldn’t resist, Katie’s post is a hard act to follow.

Rather than rehash the points Katie made (alright fine: take risks, blog with reckless abandon, deconstruct what you think you think you know about writing, and have fun doing it!) I’ll give a bit about me as a writer, and what I see as my role in the upcoming epic journey that will be EL 170 ENAM 170, Spring 2008. Your voyage will be as epic as any expedition, complete with insurmountable obstacles and rewards beyond one’s wildest dreams. Wait, we’re still talking about writing?

BG has told me many times that we are trained from our first days in school in how to write, which includes an implicit, insidious defining of what writing means. One of the things that make BG’s intro creative writing class so unique (and scary, painful, stressful, wonderful, rewarding, insightful, transformitory) is how it send a few healthy shudders through that so-carefully-constructed foundation by exposing writing as a wonderfully amorphous beast. You will reassess your relationships with truth, story, structure, narrative, sentences, and most of all, words.

For me, writing is bittersweet. It has provided me with hours of gremlin-induced block, as well as blissfully hypergraphic marathons (oddly, these tend to occur from 1-2am in the library cafĂ©. And always hand-written on blank white sheets of paper). When the dust settles, and I sit back to look at what has been squeezed, at times drop-by-drop, from my stubbornly guarded (those writing gremlins are fierce) brain, the rewards are infinitely greater than any suffering I may have had to endure. You could say writing and I have a love/hate relationship (hence the irony). While most of you hopefully enjoy writing, and this is why you have come, I imagine even the most blissfully creative have moments of scalp-clutching frustration (if not, then I hate you a little bit (just kidding)). I guess the fact that I’m not only still writing eagerly, but now tutoring is a testament in itself to the magic that is 170.

Writing is also a means for exploration. I am a firm believer that for writing to be powerful, the writer must learn something in the writing. Not what you know, or even what you wish you knew (though those are interesting), but what you are afraid to explore. Much of my writing has been blatantly introspective; a result of my having stuff I wanted to explore (for me), stuff which also happened to provide damn good material (for a reader, ostensibly). Yet even the most impersonal non-fiction narratives can utilize this scheme; the author puts oneself into the piece, and grows by diving in — exploring the places of which they are most afraid, taking the reader along for the ride.

I’m excited to be able to accompany you on this ride — watching you all blossom into butterflies of wonderful writingness (what? this is what happens when you play too many writing games)(or for those who have already taken flight, providing for further growth). I echo Katie again, on all counts in this department. I can’t wait to get to know you all as people and as writers, to learn from you, and to provide a space for constructive, supportive, but merciless revision.

Wonderful ME: I’m a senior-feb-geographied-metalhead-photographer-writer extraordinaire. I like creative non-fiction, poetry, and mashing the two together until you can’t quite recognize what you’ve got. I speak decent Mongolian. I am perpetually amused and/or annoyed by the absurdity of the world. Oh, and I live in Weybridge House. Come down for dinner some time for some veggie-organic-local-homecooked culinary goodness (Monday-Thursday, 6:30pm).

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