This course became a significant experience for me as it was the first time in my life when I was taking a class in English. Remembering my past, I understand that some years ago, I even could not dream about living in a foreign country. My childhood passed in poverty, my parents were not educated, and as an adult, I became a victim of domestic violence. I want to mention these facts in this essay to show how this first experience of studying an English course is important for me not only as a writer but as a person as well.
During this course, I have created several essays, and it was rather hard work, but it was worth it. I can say that the course gave me a more clear understanding of the writing process. As Dorothea Brande notes in her book Becoming a Writer, many students, when entering writing courses, believe that successful writers know some magic, possess the secret that allows them to create stories (2). To be honest, I had similar thoughts before this course. I was hoping that teachers would reveal this magical knowledge to me, and I would understand how to create catchy, lively, well-structured, and interesting texts. Of course, it turned out that it does not work this way.
However, I have got something more important in this course. I have overcome the fear of my past and learned how to make my experience my forte when writing. We had a couple of rather personal essays, in particular Personal Narrative and Point of View. When creating them, I had to remember difficult and painful periods of my life, reflect on them, and express my pain and feelings in writing. It was not very easy from a psychological point of view, but I did it, and I believe that it helped me grow as a writer. I have learned how to use my past and present feelings and emotions to create more vivid images in texts.
Now I know how I can evoke emotions in my readers and make them empathize with the hero of my story or me. I have overcome the fear of my past, and I am sure that it will help me in the future and maybe not only in writing.
I consider the mentioned personal essays the most successful works I have created. In addition to the expression of my feelings, I think I successfully used stylistic devices. For instance, metaphors: “the sun blowing my mind of the consciousness,” “hot oranges into the horizon like a molten lava.” I also used various epithets, for example, “sweet aroma,” “the bright colored fruit with soft, but firm texture.” I consider I managed to create a proper atmosphere in the essay Point of View using stylistic devices and describing the pictures of my safe and hiding places in every detail.
I made the essay more personal, adding some moments from my life: “I would always wait for Winter in Poland so I can receive the package of oranges from my grandfather.” Such personal life episodes also contributed to creating the atmosphere and immersion of the reader in the text. When writing this essay, I just allowed my mind to fly and felt free. So, probably writers’ magic exists, and we can feel it when portraying our picture of the world and showing it to others.
Of course, I can also highlight weak points in some essays. Rereading Summary Response, I understand that some sentences are hard to follow. Of course, this type of assignment requires a more academic style of writing. However, I consider that readers should easily follow the text. Besides, it would have sounded better if I had used a more diverse vocabulary at some points in the paper. For example, I used the root words “additional” and “addition” in the sentences “As an additional justification for her assumptions, Statsky notes the traumatic nature of active sports at an early age. In addition to…”. Thus, some aspects of vocabulary and syntax usage need improvement.
However, speaking about assignments requiring analyzing scholarly articles, I can note that I got a beneficial experience. I have practiced searching for needed information and properly citing and using it in my papers. It also required me to make my conclusions and express my thoughts based on given articles as well as to present the information in a well-structured way. Although some aspects need improvement, I believe I managed to cope with this hard work.
Thus, the course helped me grow as a writer and even overcome some psychological barriers. I assume I became more experienced for future writing assignments as I practiced creating different kinds of text. I learned to express my feelings and create an atmosphere in works describing a personal experience. I practiced writing well-structured texts and analyzing large amounts of scholarly information. In addition, this essay helped me to look at my strengths and weaknesses as a writer and understand what aspects I need to improve.
Brande, Dorothea. Becoming a writer. Lulu. 2016.