English Ap Paper

537 Words3 Pages
We’re always told to start out with an anecdote. Because of that, personal essays are both easy and hard for me. When I start writing about my life, it evolves into a therapy session. I get caught up in the anecdote, and, as shown by the first draft of my postmodern essay, it never ends. That’s a big weakness in my writing, I think; I begin to write not in a self-reflective voice but in a self-pitying voice instead. I have to find a balance between pure truth and truth that is melodramatic and thick, which is heavy on the ears and doesn’t inspire thought, just pity. When I show my essays to my sister, she’s the only one who will call me on it. She can be harsh, but she’s made me a better writer. Criticism, though, is obviously hard to take. In writing conferences, I have to focus hard not to shut down and dismiss everything Doctor Lessing says. I don’t shut down because I don’t think he’s a good writer, and I definitely don’t think that I’m better than him. It’s just easy to get angry instead of fixing my writing. I want to be a better writer, but I have only recently began to take criticism as something that’s supposed to help me, not just make me feel bad. It’s doubly important that I learn to accept criticism, actually, because I can’t self-edit. Every piece I write is my baby and it’s just fine, thank you. But thinking like that is keeping me from growing both as a person and as a writer, because that’s the stance I take on most things: Whatever I’ve done is fine. I need to learn to take a step back and stop viewing my essays as extensions of myself. This is a contradiction, obviously, because everything one writes should be personal, but one can’t take it personally if it’s criticized. It’s the Great Writing Dilemma, and it’s something that I continue to struggle with every time I write. Even as I become better at writing personal essays, I’m still

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