Wednesday, February 20, 2008

A little something to kick things off:

Okay, so this is pretty much the most prominent piece of writing I've produced (so far, at least, I've written two scripts and both will be performed soon). The piece here is actually a little article about inspiration and role it plays in writing. It was published in the Septermber-October California edition of NextStep Magazine. You can read the edited article here. The original (and I think better) version goes as follows:

"As a high school student headed for college, I’ve noticed that one of the most important academic skills one can possess is a talent for writing. No matter what major or profession you pursue in high school and college, sooner or later you are going to have to write. Therefore, I’d like to share and discuss a few writing tips that I’ve acquired thus far in high school, specifically those pertaining to essays. Ironically, I was sorely lacking in inspiration for this article until a few moments ago; therefore, I’ve decided to focus primarily on the concept and importance of inspiration.
Inspiration is a writer’s greatest asset. If I ever become famous as a writer (not likely) that will be the quote I’m known for because it really sums up my writing philosophy. If you don’t have inspiration or ideas, you’re not going anywhere. You absolutely need something to write about. It is extremely difficult to put something meaningful, ordered, logical, and well structured down on paper if you do not have a plan or an idea that you are comfortable with.
I can imagine your response: “Yeah Andrew, that’s nice, but where do you get this ‘inspiration’?” To be honest I cannot give you a hard and fast answer, no one can, but it really helps to find something you’re interested in. My best works have generally revolved around a topic I enjoy or are familiar with. For instance, I’ve written a personal narrative essay about my first time paintballing. I’ve also turned in essays referencing games like Warcraft III, Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater, and Axis and Allies! Believe it or not, I received an “A” on every one of these assignments!
Papers are also a great field to express philosophical ideas. In fact, there is no better format to argue things such as one’s religious convictions. For example, I wrote about the depravity of man just last semester. Teachers often look primarily for the student’s views or interpretation and evidence to support them. If you write about something you’re passionate or knowledgeable about, it is that much easier to successfully argue your point.
Granted, you won’t always have this complete “freedom of topic”, and I admit that at times it can be very difficult to write essays when you are only given a few specific prompts. Do not let this hinder you, though, even if you are confined to a few or even one select topic, you can still have a little fun with your essay. I’ve mentioned Star Wars in an introduction to a biology essay about cloning, and just last spring, I quoted the lyrics from a Relient K song in a composition about The Scarlet Letter! If you are familiar with any of the band’s music, you know that Relient K is not exactly “formal essay” material. However, the lyrics fit perfectly with the point I was attempting to convey, so I used them. Again, I received a solid score on this paper as well!
My point is that it’s good to have a bit of fun with your writing, not that you should be constantly going on long expositions about Halo or quoting Jack Sparrow, but there is nothing wrong with using cool or fun subjects when appropriate. It is so much easier to be stimulated by something you like. Once again: inspiration is a writer’s greatest asset."

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