“Why I Write.” Writing 220. (Gateway Course for Sweetland Minor in Writing Program). September 2012.
This essay is all at once the most witty, serious, tongue-in-cheek, and sincere piece of writing I have ever produced. How can it be all these at the same time? Perhaps it’s because writing about why we write, a required component of the Minor in Writing Gateway Course, has the unique ability to evoke such a wide range of emotions.
I have reflected on certain aspects of this essay in blog posts on “My Writers Vice” and “Why I Write Revisited.” The gist of the first is that the formal writing style which I only half-jokingly celebrate in the essay is not necessarily appropriate in every context. Following the general theme of ends and means, the second applies this concept to writing in particular.
This essay also examines the notion of paradoxes—why I appreciate them and strive to include them in my writing:
I love the paradoxes of life because, regardless of where they occur, I see their very existence as small manifestations of the supreme paradox of Christianity. If a truth is paradoxical, it is so precisely because the notion of God becoming man and suffering in order to free represents the epitome of paradox.
Completing this essay was a monumental step in my collegiate writing career. Prior to this assignment, I had never formally considered why I write. I am very grateful, then, for this opportunity to articulate what I deep down have always known to be true—that my Christian profession of faith is also my writer’s profession of identity.