Saturday, February 1, 2014

Hello World!

Writing should be fun. I believe it was Wordsworth who called it, ‘a spontaneous overflow of powerful feeling’, which is an idea I’ve always enjoyed. I like the idea of writing being an almost innate expression of self, words that overflow from somewhere inside to give shape to all that you’re feeling and experiencing in life. Writing is a privilege, one that people have had to fight long and hard to obtain. In Ethnic lit classes, we speak often of the ways that the capacity to create is a mark of humanity, and minority groups have long sought to demonstrate through literary expression that their capacity for the creative and beautiful is just as valued as others.

As a student of this very thing- writing- I often wonder at how easy it is to forget that this is a discipline that is meant to be fun, and to be beautiful. I’ve spent years locked away in the ivory tower of academia, crafting high minded commentary on the state of gender in x,y,and z Victorian novel, making broad claims about the way my personal opinion is going to change the state of humanity for the better. After years haunting the Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies departments at multiple institutions, I’ve realized that my writing has become so densely theoretical and full of academic jargon that, when read to a person outside my department, the only response is…”whaaaatt?”

So, it’s back to basics, starting with this year. I began my journey into academia with the goal of changing the world for the better, and pursuing something I love. However, no amount of work published in an academic journal is going to change the life of a woman struggling on the street in this world today, and no amount of picking apart my favorite Alice Walker novel for non-normative gender expression is going to make me love her beautiful prose any more completely. I’ve reorganized my focus of study to include a focus in journalism, and am going to see where it takes me. I want to write about what I love, and I want it to be fun again.

This blog is about that. It’s going to be opinionated, at times political, at times a place of reflection. The rest I don’t know yet.

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