The Affects of Time Seen in Intro + Identity
From a young age, I knew the importance of education because my parents were both K-State graduates. My mother, a teacher, taught me to read and write before kindergarten, and I remember practicing writing my name in purple wobbly Crayola Crayon letters on sheets of crisp white printer paper on the wood kitchen table. The table was the center of our farmhouse, much like how Diana's played a part in her life early on, as we see in "The Material Culture of Writing" by Cydney Alexis. My schedule at this point was dictated by my mother: when dinner was, when playtime was, and when it was time to learn.
As I grew towards adolescence, I gained more freedom. I was involved in extracurriculars, and played softball and the clarinet. The point at which school dictated my schedule began in late elementary school, and even more so in middle school. My parents provided access to writing tools, paper, a desk, and computers. When they bought me new furniture for my bedroom, particularly a desk, it signaled a transition for me from child to "pre-teen." This transition is also made apparent in an Alexis' article, "Diana's experiences with reading and writing took place in the gendered space of the kitchen..." and when she became a teen, "adolescence marked an inward turn—she moved from the common space of the kitchen to a bedroom," (Alexis 88).
Growing older also signaled more involved writing in school. My schedule here was determined by teachers, and their influence on what my writing process looked like, and how many days in-class were spent writing, brainstorming, or revising.
Emig notes the importance of teacher influence throughout her findings, and notes on page 68 in The Composing Processes of Twelfth Graders, "she [Lynn] does not reformulate because her teachers do not "inspire" her to...they are not really interested in reading." She additionally notes Lynn's teachers' focus on grammar and spelling.
Because of my teacher's emphasis on grammar, particularly in later years rules like "do not use contractions" and "avoid passive voice", a large focus on my revising now is grammar-based, but while I write. I shamefully admit to not spending as much time revising separately from writing as I should. Teachers encouraged outlines throughout my schooling—and in my senior year composition class it was broken down into a sentence-by-sentence paragraph outline, but I rarely use outlines. I do plan, and jot and brainstorm sentences and underline in my texts and take notes of what I read. For this project; however, I did more of what can be considered outlining because of the untraditional format.
Am I a writer?
Time's involvement in writing identity is unquestionable then, when considering most of my writing is from the extensive (Emig), rather than being something deemed by the field "creative." Doubt about writing identity seems to be the struggle of not just myself, but writers as shown in Alexis's article "Stop Using the Phrase Creative Writing." I too, identify more with the statement "I am a reader" than "I am a writer." I do write for classes, I have written poetry, but until workshop classes in college, it was self-doubt that led me to question if I was any good, and if my writing was worth reading, something original, or competetive. The division between papers I spend time crafting for classes, and journal entries, poetry, or even writing about music experience (some of these can be found here).