Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Reading Response: "The Inspired Writer vs. The Real Writer"

Readings on Writing (P. 29-34)
Reading Response
“The Inspired Writer vs. The Real Writer” by Sarah Allen

In “The Inspire Writer vs. The Real Writer,” Sarah Allen attempts to differentiate the two main types of writers to college readers. Allen argues that writers are not really who everyone thinks they are. She claims that writer’s block is real, writing is a confusing discourse, and that all good writing takes time and actually doesn’t just come to the writer. Allen gives several examples, personal and not, to demonstrate that “the inspired writer” is simply just a mythical thing and that good work comes from “the real writers” that learn to overcome the challenges of writing. Allen also gives advice to new writers about who should revise your paper and certain writing techniques. I feel that this article is very relevant and reader friendly.

Synthesis Work:
This article once again deals with the misconceptions about writing, just as all the other articles I’ve read for this class have. Allen relates more to Kleine because her whole approach to what “the real writer” is, is based on engaging in the text and actually having a purpose behind the material.  It is also related to the Kantz article because Allen touches on how to use different texts in one’s work as well as putting forth original ideas. I’d have to say that nearly every article read from here on out is going to relate to Greene’s because every writer is making an argument. This particular article does not really relate to the McCloud and Berger texts because those articles were more centered toward visual constructs and representation.

Homework Question:
Time and time again, I have been negatively affected by the concept of “the inspired writer.” I have always been told that good writing will flow to me if I have it in me, but sometimes, that just was not the case. I would eventually produce a good piece of work, but it most certainly did not flow. The most memorable experience I’ve had with this would be my graduation speech. I had thousands of ideas, but no grammatically correct way to write them. Consequently, I would cut things out of my speech and I would stare at a blank page waiting to become the inspired writer and for words to fill my page quickly. After a while, I realized that wasn’t going to happen.  But, it hit me, that this was my speech- my ideas- my chance to reach out to everyone about my past four years. This was my chance to inspire my classmates, to relive funny moments from the past four years, to reach out to the surrounding family members at the ceremony. Once I realized all of that, I became “the real writer.” I now had the “so-what” behind my words (as Allen put it). It took some time and some revision, but in my eyes, I had created the best work I ever had.  After that experience, and after reading Allen’s incredibly reassuring article, I no longer think about the inspired writer, I just think about my audience, my words, and the meaning behind it all. Now, writing will not be so scary or difficult and I know it is natural to go blank sometimes. I know who should review my work, and I know that my final product will be great if I just believe in it. 

My Personal Thoughts:
I loved this article the most. It was not jumpy, jumbled, or hard to follow in any way. It was modern and I can see how Allen knew that her audience would primarily consist of college and first time writers. It was very reassuring, insightful, I related to it, and I learned a lot from it. Great!


  1. It is interesting how you found the "so what" purpose of wanting to inspire your graduating class. You mentioned humour was one way you connected to the audience-- what else did you address? I would love to read it. BTW, you may enjoy listening to Steve Jobs' Stanford Commencement speech: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D1R-jKKp3NA

    1. Humor was the main thing I used, granted that most of it was inside humor. However, I also used tone of voice. I know that's not really as writing technique, but it was useful in getting my points across. Also, I asked questions that made the audience think. I was hoping that would draw people in.

    2. Here is my speech (note that some things, only Nelsonville people would understand- its our jargon in a sense).

      Life Goes On
      By: Stephanie Maccombs

      I’ve been attending Nelsonville-York schools for thirteen years now. High school has especially been a blast with all of you and I think we’ve all come out of our shells by now. We all have some crazy memories that will surely last a lifetime and I think we have an unlimited supply of inside jokes. For example, who knew how useful a mere trashcan could be in moment of despair and who knew a sign at the end of your road could get you in so much trouble (ok maybe that ones not so inside). Seriously though, some of you are literally like my family now. No matter how much I might act like I hate school and I can’t wait to leave and blah blah blah…. I really enjoyed becoming so close with all of you and I actually will miss you. There I said it.
      Anyway, I’ve witnessed my classmates in an array of outfits over the years – football jerseys, cheerleading uniforms, formal gowns, pajamas, gym clothes, and just about anything else you an think of. But now, here we are, together for the last time wearing these goofy looking hats and dresses- a funny way to go, don’t you think? But then again, we are a funny group of people and I know every single one of us has talked about this day for months now. You know, those times we get Mrs. Joyce off track all class period talking about our future or those times Mr. Coakley has to force us to keep doing notes instead of talking about what crazy things we are going to do right after we leave this gym today. Well, I guess it’s our time to walk the walk now. It’s really here. No more Awesome Alice Announcements (you kept me alive this year Alice!), no more high school sports, and no more “easy A” classes. It’s true- we are on our own now. But don’t let that scare you.
      Up until now we’ve done nothing but learn. I know some of you are thinking that today marks the end of that, but really, you never quit learning. It might be from a college class, from new job training, or more than likely- from mistakes. It’s true, people you trust, people you love, and people you admire really do make mistakes. It’s also true that someone out there trusts, loves, and admires you. Now this is where Peyton would say, “By the transitive property- that means you make mistakes!” …. And once again, Peyton would be right. The good thing is, it happens to everyone! The only thing to do is keep going. Nothing is over until the moment you stop making an effort. Think about it this way: If you know you’re bound to have a misstep somewhere, but you want to have a good future anyway, just don’t be afraid to take risks! Either you make advancement toward your goal, or you learn from a mistake and you discover what you can and cant do to reach your goal. Only good can happen- so spice up your life! “Go big or go home,” isn’t a saying for no reason.
      I think one of the biggest pieces advice I have you my classmates and anyone in this gym is simple. It’s actually a motto I’ve lived by for a while now:
      It was what it was
      It is what it is
      We’ll all be all right
      Because LIFE GOES ON

      Don’t worry about your past. If you messed up, leave that error in the past and carry on. Everything will be ok. Actually, try thinking about the biggest catastrophe from freshman year. Can you even remember? Was it really that big of a deal? I’m guessing it probably doesn’t even matter anymore, and that’s what I mean when I say “Life Goes On.” Don’t worry about things you cant change; just focus on good things you can make happen. Focusing on success will help you to forget the minor speed bumps you’ve encountered along the way.
      So, class of 2012, I guess I want to say thank you for the memories, the friendships, and most of all the lessons learned. We may be receiving diplomas tonight, but if you look around at your teachers, coaches and friends, you will realize what you’ve truly earned in your time at Nelsonville-York High School.

      THE END