Considering Lopate

The personal essay to me, embodies the qualities of what Phillip Lopate would consider to be a good writer. When I write, I tend to use first person quite frequently. I will admit that sometimes I am too honest, even with myself. I try to envision that there is some kind of audience watching, listening, learning. There is always a moment of self-discovery in writing. Through writing, I am not only establishing a connection with the so-called audience, but also with myself. As I was reading The Art of the Personal Essay, by Lopate I was struck with that moment of self discovery. I considered my self to be a good writer. Not a great one of course, but good enough. Writing personal essays during my childhood gave me a voice when my parents wouldn’t hear me. Writing separated me from the masses within the school system; just knowing I was smart enough made me feel less like a failure. So to become intimate with paper and pen (or whatever medium of your choosing), is to become intimate with a larger audience and to connect, resonate, and make an impact on them. That is what I hope to invoke in readers someday. I am not without faults however, I know that there are, or might be certain areas where I fall short but I hope to overcome them through practice. I love to write but usually the question arises in the back of my mind, “how do I find the time to write? Hopefully, this class will force me to do what I tell myself everyday, but never really find the time to do. Now, I have to find the time to do it and through that struggle, it will lead to finding myself.

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1 Response to Considering Lopate

  1. cierrarouse says:

    I completely agree with you, Alicia. Although I have gotten rusty after semesters of being unable to make room for a writing class in a schedule dominated by science, I have always seen writing as an outlet. I used to have a definite knack for it, especially in terms of personal pieces, writing for an audience in my own voice. Lopate gave me a similar sense of satisfaction that I am a good writer, while showing me where there’s room to improve. I have definitely struck moments of sheer truth while writing, self discovery and relief through this, but sometimes I write too much for the reader even in my first draft and I find myself editing for readers other than myself.I struggled with the same time management problem, that is I had no extra time to manage, but this class even only being halfway through has definitely reopened me to the wide world of self expression through writing and it is a great relief to my other classes. It’s funny to think a separate work load can sometimes ease the pressure when its focus is completely different from those of your “normal” classes.

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