Natalie Rohman

A Chicago Girl Paving Inspiration

An Ode to Prideful Writing

I would definitely say that writing has come easily to me over the years, but when I was younger it was hard. I write so much nowadays anyway that I feel much more comfortable than I did in middle school or high school. I was not a good reader, but I was a proficient writer. 

You see, the thing is was that in my school, at least, we were taught specific ways to read, analyze, infer, and explain sorts of things that we were learning about—seems like any other school curriculum. My school was driven on the basis of standardized tests, like many schools, so what they wanted from students (in terms of writing) was the average five paragraph sandwich essay with little room to elaborate on our own thoughts because using "I" was forbidden. 

I don't resent my English schooling, but I wish it had been different because what I have learned from my own writing and college is that none of it is important (for the most part). What we should be learning is correct grammar and that is still something I struggle with constantly. Kids do not know how to properly comma splice or even the difference between "its" and "it's."
I'm no "grammar nazi" and I definitely don't discriminate based on how well or poor you write because I know that everyone is at a different level and pace when it comes to writing—a lot of people hate it. I guess my background with writing and being surrounded by English majors kind of swayed me a bit into the passion. The freedom of using my own words and thoughts to talk about whatever I want, especially on my own platform, has been one of the most gratifying experiences in my life. Writing is a part of me and always will. 

Many people ask me how I can handle writing freely, with writing for my college blog and editing, as well as, managing five to six-page papers on a weekly basis. All I can say is that when I'm in the mood, I'm a writing machine. Words can just easily flow off my fingers. I think it's not only therapeutic but introspectively reflective and releasing. 

My college writing, for one thing, has been more about my own interpretations, so instead of research and context-based writing I did in high school, I actually get to think about things on my terms not relating to a certain article or opinion of somebody else. There's no "second meaning" and my professors aren't forcing us to make wild inferences about certain metaphors or what deeper meaning something has. High school focused too much on the content and I think it strayed our abilities to create our own understanding of the texts. 
I guess the trick or key to prideful writing is that you can't really compare yours to everybody else's. I know there are far better writers than me out there, but I think recently I've gotten really comfortable with my voice and that's proven some really great work that I've made. Maybe it's also a mentality, too. My mood, for one thing, has been pretty positive lately and that's really affected the way I write and go about writing. Some weeks I feel like shit and lack the inspiration I can normally find. 

Since I have basically been writing nonstop this past couple of months, there's without a doubt that I've improved on some aspect of my writing. I still have trouble using "big" words, sentence variance, and everything else. However, little by little I've noticed that it's easier to form my complex ideas and connect them all so I don't fall astray from the main concept of my writing—or at least I think so. 

I'm the biggest critic of my own writing and no A or B on a paper can tell me whether or not I really did a good job. Of course, I make mistakes in my writing, could elaborate more on certain subjects, fix the structure of my thoughts, and so forth, but I know whether or not the writing I did was created with full effort and purpose. 

One of the biggest things I've learned with writing is that simplicity is a strong suit. Learning how to write less with concision is probably the hardest things for college students and writers in general. A lot of people feel like they have to say so much about everything, but you really need to get to the point and move on. It takes time to develop your style, voice, and comfortability with writing. It takes time, patience, and effort. I'm constantly learning and I hope everybody takes the opportunity to do the same!

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