A resolution I have this year is to keep my blog on track by writing a few different series. Allow me to introduce the first.
Discovering Yourself as a Writer
I found the image linked above on one of my many Pinterest adventures which aren’t half as glorious as they sound. I like this set of prompts because they allow me to introduce myself in a series of stories. I hope answering a few of these questions makes me seem a bit more human. To most of you out there, I’m a wall of text behind a computer screen. I swear there’s a plucky young bespectacled ginger behind all these words!
Branding: What single word describes your personality? How does it affect you as a writer? Are you whimsical, gregarious, or fierce?
You know what I’ve always hated? Word limitations. “This essay must be at least 1200 words” or “please don’t write more than 500 characters for this statement of purpose.” I know guidelines are important, but seriously…one little word to describe myself? I’m an incredibly diverse person. I’ll watch gory action films while hugging Percival (my purple unicorn pillow pet). I’ll go shopping…and then pop into the GameStop to see if Dragon Age or Assassin’s Creed is on sale. I’ll wear over-sized sweaters and slinky evening dresses in the same day!
However, recently I completed a job application for a program that allows me to teach English in Japan once I graduate from college. It has been my dream for several years now to teach in a foreign country, and I finally got the application in my hand. I filled almost all of it out in one day…except for the statement of purpose–the most important part. I didn’t write that part the next day either. Or the day after. Or the next week. You can see where this is going…
I waited until the night before I needed to mail it out to even start on it. I wrote a draft and thought I was done. But then I woke up the next day. Hated it. Trashed it. Panicked. Cried in my adviser’s office for about fifteen minutes. Finally, I proceeded to write a new statement and revise it about five times that day with the help of one of my English professors, a career counselor, and a pep-talk from my roommate.
I always say I’ll stop procrastinating, but I don’t. Why wait? Because I hate writing about myself. (Funny…considering that this is a blog about…me. But I’m not trying to get a job or scholarship from you guys!) I’m always looking for a single word that makes me (of all the people in the world) stick out. There are hundreds of funny, creative, sarcastic, or cat-loving individuals. How can I describe myself in one word or even 500?
(Just so you know, I haven’t heard back from that job yet. They’ll be calling about in two weeks. Here’s praying.)
My writing is as diverse as my personality.
I can’t exactly describe myself as whimsical all the time. Sometimes I write incredibly…dark things. I also can’t describe myself as sarcastic. If I were witty and sarcastic all the time, my readers might not take me seriously or think that I’m not as believable as I should be. I certainly don’t want to become my own unreliable narrator. Saying I’m “creative” would be a cop-out. Writing, no matter what it is, requires a little bit of creativity.
You’re probably thinking…why not go with “diverse?” You just said it yourself about a hundred times, you silly goose! Well…the answer to that is: even that word doesn’t seem to accurately describe myself or my writing the way I want it to. I don’t think I’ll ever be happy with a single word because I’m always going to be a huge combination of words. I’m not sure anyone out there would count awkward-imaginative-sparkle-tastic as a single word. Any takers? But if someone put a gun to my head and told me that I absolutely had to choose…
Experimental. I always try new things, go on adventures, and jump into the middle of battles. My writing is still experimental. I want to try new forms, new ways of characterization, new plot devices. I want to take concepts that have been done and redo them. My personality is constantly shifting, making room for a better balance of social awkwardness and professionalism. In a way, I’m still finding myself, and maybe I’ll never be that one word.
Or maybe I’m just over-complicating things!
What about you? What’s your “branding?”