I had no idea what to expect going into this course. When we first began, I initially continued that theme by not having a clue as to what was going on. I was unfamiliar with the idea of essayists, however, soon enough I realized I had been reading the works of essayists all my life without ever realizing it. Whether it be articles online or in a magazine, or short literary pieces, these were essays that I had no idea were, well, essays. By doing the readings, and listening attentively in class – granted while also not participating all that much – I became familiar with the tools which made for a solid essay.
Firstly, honesty matters. If you are unfamiliar with the topic you are writing about then do research. Personal essays should dig deep and reveal something about the author so that they are present within their own essay. That is the essence of having a voice within your work, you need to be felt within the piece to the reader. If you do not stand out and project yourself honestly then you run the risk of projecting a shallow, or fake presence in your essay, if any at all. That is one thing that helped me adjust to this course work and style of writing is being able to project a voice. Whether others like that voice, who knows? Does being myself within my writing help me? Absolutely.
Having come from a background of non-fiction, and most recently over the past two years, focusing on screenwriting, it was a bit difficult to adjust back to writing in the form of an essay. So, when it came to working on my essay sequence I began it by adding a kind of over dramatized fictional twist to a non fictional series of pieces. At the end of writing this sequence I honestly felt way more consistently proficient than I had when this course began. My Freshman, and Sophomore year I could write at a consistent pace and produce a fair amount of work because of that. However, coming into this semester I had grown rusty and spent too much time in between writing, so it was hard to grab back onto that flow. Something that I’ve definitely taken away is that I need more discipline and learn to juggle conflicting tasks in a better manner. However, I have also learned that I missed writing. By the end of this course I was really enjoying putting together these pieces, and I want to continue to do so as I go forward. Being around such talented writers in one room this year was eye opening in that I need to work harder and more consistently.