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Ghada Seifeddine Thursday, February 27, 2014 Essay Revised


Yes. When Im writing, I am trying to find out who I am, who we are, what were capable of, how we feel, how we lose and stand up, and go on from darkness into darkness. Im trying for that. But Im also trying for the language. Im trying to see how it can really sound. I really love language. I love it for what it does for us, how it allows us to explain the pain and the glory, the nuances and the delicacies of our existence. And then it allows us to laugh, allows us to show wit. Real wit is shown in language. We need language. (Maya Angelou)

Personal Literacy Essay I remember the gigantic smile that never left my face, as I greeted my friends at the door when the launching event started. I never thought that I would ever publish any of my drafts until I was old enough to call myself a writer. On the day my personal essay was published in Rusted Radishes Beirut Literary and Art Journal, I concluded that the writer in me was born. Little did I know how wrong that notion was. In fact, and reflecting on my past years, I realized the fault in saying what I did during the launch event. My journey as a writer has been structured as I was growing up, seizing to stay affixed to one thought, but rather molded into a spectrum of perspectives, depending on context and experience. For every writer, there is a unique recollection of writing. However, the starting point in my writing experience is one of the hardest questions to answer. In other words, I cannot see a starting point to writing because writing was a comfort zone that I reached out for in different times of my life. However, these times were never in chronological order. I would write for a few weeks, stop altogether and sit down to write again after a year or so had passed. If I could date back to the first time I discovered the art of writing, or rather when it discovered me, a glimpse of childhood comes into play. Being the seven year old I was, I would write fables or prose with a moral at the end, without, of course, knowing what each writing was categorized as. My inspiration to write was extracted from constant

Ghada Seifeddine 1189 Thursday, February 27, 2014 Essay Revised reading and rereading of the books my mother bought me as a child and adolescent. Aside from inspiration, encouragement to write came from my schools principal, who wanted me to provide her with a copy of whatever I wrote. I felt a deep sense of satisfaction whenever I was praised for a story I wrote. I would play the role of a writer, who would make up a book by using imagination, paper and coloring pens. However, as I got older, the hunger for writing diminished and I was left with little experience as a writer. It was not until high school did I have the urge to write again. I remember one night when I was frustrated and crying about something hurtful my parents said to me. It was that moment when I wanted to explode into the feelings I was facing. I did what I could only do at that time: I wrote every emotion into words. It was only a bit of poetry, and soon after, the writer in me hid inside again. Knowing that it was years until I could have the opportunity to write again, I decided on joining the American University of Beirut to study English language. This step that I took was the fuel for the writer I am today; a writer that is still evolving. At first, I thought a writer was someone who only flooded his emotion out on paper for others to hear and relate to. Nonetheless, this type of image was defied and took a larger form. I realized that my major requires of me to be an observer and an avid reader. Linguists are silent writers who observe the outer world around them, the inside thoughts contained in them and consequently arrive at conclusions from those two points of view; sometimes, they may not even deduce any reason behind what they saw or read, but instead discover macro-levels to consider further. At the same time, a writer needs to feed on previous knowledge. The knowledge is retrieved through all the books he can get his hands on.

Ghada Seifeddine 1189 Thursday, February 27, 2014 Essay Revised Going through these two lifestyles simultaneously, I adopted the mixture of linguist and reader to shape myself as a writer. In establishing myself as a writer at that level, my writing capabilities began to branch out into in accordance to being a language essayist and creative writer. English language required certain competence and logical understanding in the way I write. However, being a language essayist did not feel like an obligation because I got to focus on the social issues of my interest through language. The interplay between language and society helped me see writers in a new shade, especially in the influence language had on the way we think. It also contributed to the topics I would want to explore to better my understanding about certain subjects. Creative writing, on the other hand, was a separate process that intervened in my image as a writer. I still believe myself to be at the constructivist level because my poetry and non-fiction are minimal. Even though my poetry and nonfiction was accepted for publication, I still cannot call myself a professional because of that. As a matter of fact, I keep revisiting what I wrote, asking myself reasons for choice of words, imagery and topic. Being a creative writer is not a static procedure, but a satisfactory one that gives me the opportunity to jot down on paper what I cannot orally express. While my writing process is developing, there are challenges that are encountered. For some, a writers block is considered the most frustrating matter to handle whilst writing; however, and after a long time spent on creative writing courses, I realized that a writers block does not exist. It is just what we use as an excuse when we are stuck on an idea that we cannot convey. In my belief, thoughts are infinite and ever-flowing in our

Ghada Seifeddine 1189 Thursday, February 27, 2014 Essay Revised minds. Therefore, instead of a writers block, my biggest challenge resides in constantly encouraging myself to write. I am not the kind of person that writes for leisure; hence, my drafts are usually relative to the courses I am taking. Even though my drafts convey my emerging thoughts, continuously altered by reality and experience, I find it saddening that I cannot always push myself to write outside the universitys curriculum. Perhaps it is due to the time constraint and the busy life of a college student, but it still remains an implausible excuse to me that I dont write more often. While my writing journey is still flexible in process, ever-changing in thought and action, the different experiences that I have went through in my environment shaped the way I deal with being the writer I am. I do have to say that, in my belief, humans are born with stories to tell, but every individual tends to express them in diverse methods. Some find their words in music, a couple other construct them through science discovery while another portion, such as myself, picture it down on paper. Perhaps as time unwraps itself, I will witness the day when my writings reflect my own ideology, which I would build up gradually through practice. I wish to be a writer with her own touch and style in writing, but until then, I will continue to observe and absorb the knowledge of what a writer is from around and within me.