Writing Sample – Vile Revision

Vile Revision

Revision is the bane of all writing. Throughout high school and through my college education I have found that revision is easily one of the hardest and most unenjoyable aspects of writing. Revision is essential, I do understand that, but I don’t like having to revisit many of my pieces because a lot are done “in the moment.” One fear that I have had with revision (though my Linfield Professor’s have definitely hammered on me that my belief is false) is that I will lose the essence of what I wrote while in that particular moment. I understand the need for revision in an academic setting. I understand it as well, to an extent, in creative writing, especially in the form of prose, scripts, etc. I do find, and have found, that when I look back at a piece that I wrote years ago I become nit-picky about everything on the page. I want to change so much of my writing and the techniques I used before that the piece becomes more of “who I am now,” rather than “who I was then.”

One problem that I have had since before coming to Linfield was the lack of a solid foundation of writers and editors that are friends of mine. Most people that I have shown my work to will often say, “Oh, great job. Way to go” and that doesn’t help me out. I have refused to show any of my work to my family or friends because they don’t have the “critical eye” that I have been looking for. I wouldn’t mind if a person, metaphorically, “tore me a new one” because I know that I can take the criticism. I want to better myself as a writer, but people being overly positive of my work doesn’t help me. I have sit in writing classes in high school and community college and have gone through entire workshops not knowing what I should change because people didn’t want to step on toes, and although I understand that one’s writing can be extremely personal and close to the heart, it isn’t all too helpful in the long run just to hear positives. One of my biggest problems as far as writing comes with staying in the correct tense. Sometimes I bounce from a certain tense, not purposefully, and I would get docked for going from past to present, etc. and they would advise me to read over a paper in order to spot the problems, but sometimes the slips are so few and far between that I don’t even trip over them. This is why I know that careful editing and revision is important.

In the classes that I have taken in community college I found that whether it was a creative writing class or not, my first draft was always my only draft. Professor Wilkins, in the English department, would often quote Ernest Hemingway, “The first draft of anything is shit.” My thoughts, and response one particular day was, “Well, that’s only if you’re not a good writer.” I have worked on revising more of my papers though, especially my prose, because I know that it is an essential act that all writers must slog through. Much like puberty and the awkwardness that comes with it, revision is just something that people have to go through.


Writing Sample – Why a Creative Writer?

Why become a creative writer? A creative writer essentially has the power of a god. A creative writer has the power to give and take life, the ability to sway the opinions of others, and create and destroy whole galaxies and worlds. A creative writer has the power to make people laugh and cry, become angered or make a person reflect upon their own lives. A creative writer can do absolutely anything they want and take things wherever their imagination will let them. A creative writer has the ultimate power. The reason why I chose creative writing as a major is because I enjoy writing.

As anti-climactic as that may have been, it is the truth. I want to be a creative writer because I absolutely enjoy most everything about writing. I love wracking my brain trying to figure out how a character will act in a certain situation. I love writing poems and pretending to be abstract. I love song writing, blogging and sharing my opinion. I hate editing though, because it is the bane of all writing. The first draft is the absolute best draft, of course.

Throughout my life, I have wanted to “grow up” and be a million different things. I wanted to be a paleontologist because of Jurassic Park, I wanted to be a Super Mario brother, I wanted to be a Free Safety in the NFL, and a stand up comedian among many other things. But whenever those “dreams” would be dashed, I’d always fall back and figure, “Well, I can write decently, I may as well become a writer.” Over the years, whenever I’d put writing on the back burner for other things, I’d return and realize just how much I’ve missed writing. Writing is my scorned lover, but she always takes me back. During my sophomore semester at Solono Community College I knew that no matter how much I tried to push writing to the side, it’d always resurface. I realized that even though it may not lead to the most lucrative lifestyle and people would quip, “Do you want any fries with that major? Har har har.” I would be happy. And, for the most part, happiness is what we all truly strive for in life.

I chose creative writing as a major, but I have no clue what I really want to do with it when I leave from Linfield. As lovely as it would be to write a best selling book my first week out of the doors, I am a realist and understand that that isn’t too likely to happen. In a perfect world I would like to write in a magazine or for a newspaper as my “day job” and write a novel or scripts on the side. I want writing to be my main job because if I stop writing I may lose my fascination of it altogether to the grind of everyday “adult” life.