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Hannah Johnson
Devin Patten
English 1010
February 9, 2015
Who I am is Who I Was
To honestly describe myself as a writer today one must take into
consideration the building blocks of my past. Who I am is who I was. While this
simple phrase can be applied to all aspects of life, it rings with so much truth in
respect to writing skill and style. As one gains new experiences they are able to
construct a wide understanding of writing principles in order to master any piece
creative or otherwise. Thus, I have become the writer I am today because of my
past experiences and the skills I have gained from them.
In every facet of life one must build a single principle upon another and then
another until they have become masters in their chosen field. For example, to
become a highly skilled writer one must first learn the ABCs and go from there.
Taking that into consideration, if I am to think back as far as I possibly can the first
goals I ever consciously set as I child were in some respect to reading. In
elementary schools around the world there are many various programs intended to
prepare students to become exceptional readers. Now why would these schools take
the time to train their students in something as simplistic as reading? Could it be
because it is the basis of everything else in life? To be a good writer one must be a
good reader, to succeed in a high paying career one must be able to read and write
well etc. I remember sitting down with my family when I was a child and reading
everything we possibly could. My parents always made reading a priority in my
house. We would read anything and everything from picture books to novels to

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scriptures. Depending on the day, we would sit together and read individually or
listen as my parents read to us. In conjunction with the school curriculum, my
parents would ensure that I always set a monthly goal as to what I wanted to read,
how much I would read, or to improve my reading speed. They recognized what an
important building block it was for my future education. As the years progressed
and I began learning how to write, and just as I did with reading, writing goals were
frequently made as a way of improvement. These goals were easily fulfilled through
freewriting. I often would keep a journal and write short stories and generally
enjoyed practicing these skills. This also allowed me to be creative and imaginative
as a child.
As I continued into my adolescence, I carried those habits on from childhood
and continued to utilize the benefits. Novels, magazines and social media were
items that I would commonly read. The introduction of social media allowed me to
share my own writing with the world for the first time. Outlets such as Facebook
and Twitter allowed me to be more consciously aware of what I was writing for these
posts. At this age I wanted to seem educated and witty to all of my friends. Though
it seems insignificant, these posts played a huge role in shaping me to be the writer
I am today. They became a good segue into writing more critically as we soon would
learn in school. Obviously, school requires a great deal of writing for any class.
However, it seems that in just a few short years, my writing skills improved
exponentially as I took many writing courses. I began learning how to write with
rhetorical sensitivity, improved comprehension, and critical analysis of imaginative
literature and understanding principles such as symbolism, foreboding, and
metaphors among many other literature principles.

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Despite all of the education I received in regards to writing, it is a whole new
world outside of high school. At the time I felt that I had become a master of the
craft. Receiving As on all papers and a great deal of praise from my teachers.
However, it did not take long after graduation for me to realize that I had so much
more to learn in order to perfect my writing. For example, I am a cosmetologist and
my occupation does not often require me to write essays, book reports or a
scientific analysis. So I have needed to adapt the skills gained over the years to my
everyday life. Now I have learned how I can take those same skills to write resumes
and/or job reports. Overall, these skills will essentially enable me to receive a higher
paying position as I appear to be highly educated which in turn will allow me to gain
respect of coworkers in my area of expertise. Furthermore, I have been blessed with
technology in my lifetime. There are so many different software programs available
for computers and even tablets in todays world. These technological advancements
have allowed me to learn from my own mistakes in writing but also provide many
learning opportunities that will also help me to improve in my own writing. A good
example of this is composing any sort of work within Microsoft Word. Among the
tools available within the software are a grammar check, dictionary, thesaurus, spell
check and even a translator. So as you can see, right at my fingertips I have the
power to create not only a wonderful piece but also learn as I do so.
Given the above points, through observing my history as a writer, it is easy to
see that I have not become the writer I am today overnight. The process has been
slow and steady building one principle upon another and is still continuously
changing as I receive more education on the subject. It is apparent that I am not a
professional writer in the manner that Earnest Hemmingway, Stephen King or Leo
Tolstoy is but like them I am full of curiosity and creativity. I like to be explorative in

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my own writing, open to new methods just as Christopher Columbus explored the
Americas. He was so full of curiosity and open to new ways of living. Along with the
aforementioned qualities, I have always been meticulous and calculated in the
verbatim I use. Just as a painter takes his time to decide on an image he would like
to craft and what medium would best be used in order to create it. I have learned to
structure my work depending on its purpose so it will be more effective when
reaching the intended audience. And as I have said, regardless of what I have
learned, I will always continue to grow as a writer.
Writing is a process, always learning and adapting to new understandings, it
is important to draw on your past both emotionally and the abilities you have
harnessed. This allows you to be a well-rounded writer and be able to appeal to your
audience more successfully. Just as I have illustrated throughout this narrative. Who
I am is who I was. If I did not start with the basics of reading and writing, I would
have never been able to build on those principles and grow as a writer. Thus, I have
become the writer I am today because of my past experiences and the skills I have
gained from them.