Draft #1- Why I Write

Secret Desires of being a Dictator

Here I am, sitting alone in my dorm room at North Quad writing the first essay for my Writing minor. It is kind of amusing and beautiful to think about how a three-pound organ in our head (called the brain, if it was not that obvious) can allow us to think about boyfriends and essays simultaneously. And it is this particular feature of the brain that makes writing a part of my life.

I’m not an emotional person. But then again, if I am, I would be too ashamed to admit to that. One in a while, I would cry watching movies about reuniting lovers or fathers-dying, but other than that, I try to avoid drama and messy situations that will frustrate me and keep my focus throughout the day preoccupied. However, now that I’m older and facing difficult questions regarding myself, people, and the future, I sometimes get stuck. I don’t know what to do or I don’t know what I want. I tired talking to people and professionals but they failed me. I went on the web and read forums and blogs, but they were unsatisfactory. Little did I know, the best therapy was a blank piece of paper.

And so, starting last summer, I began to write. I wrote almost every day during that time—making sure to capture key moments and thoughts of the day. But basically, it was diary. At first, I started out writing about myself. It sounded like I was trying to get my journal to get to know me. Then I began just jotting fragments of my thoughts. After a while, as my relation to journaling got familiar, some of our conversation became dry and usual. I would write down interesting current events that I read in the news, interesting recipes, a log of how much I spent that weekend, and passwords—words that aren’t meant to be published. However, despite the fact that I’m not always writing momentous thoughts or wonderful literature, I was glad I was writing and something to turn to every day if I wanted.

And this is why writing is so great. For anything that I learned and realized and understood, writing gives me a safe, secure place to record and store my thoughts for eternal safekeeping. At the same time, writing unlike most valuable described in this way does not require heavy equipment or a secret hiding place. I use small journals and notebooks that fit easily into my backpacks and purses that can be conveniently pulled out as it is placed back in. I also turn to writing as a self-discussion forum. I would start out with a thought and question and by writing and thinking, I began having a discussion, debate, or dialogue with myself on paper. And the best part, everything is recorded as if there was a secretary who sat in on me.

Writing to me is also a form of a therapy . Writing allows me to have the best listener in the world listen to my thoughts. Writing gives me a non-judgmental audience who will only form whatever judgments I choose. Writing lets me take back words and regurgitate it out again and again, or never at all. Writing releases my stress. It distracts me from my worries and gives me something to do. Writing enables me to appreciate reading and make me want to imitate sentences and word choices from other writers.

But writing is also not always great. Writing is a lonely activity, meaning that I write best when I’m alone in my room, away from my friend and family. Writing also gives me shame as I look back and reread thoughts and worries that I had in the past that I should not have. Writing only gives me feedback from myself and makes me closer to myself than people around me. Writing is also slow. No matter how fast I type, I can never write as fast as I think and I will always make grammar mistakes and need revision which will always slow things down.

But this is my essay—not hers, his, or yours.  I get to choose what words and arrangement of them goes in it. 我也不需要写英文. I don’t even need to write in English. When I am writing, it is always personal. It is always somehow about me no matter what I am writing about. And it can only be written by me. Essentially, writing is a type of power we shouldn’t take light. And so by writing, I’ve decided that I’m also a dictator.


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