Thursday, October 11, 2012

Emotional Writing

I am having a hard time remembering any other sessions that have included emotional writing that I have not already included in my response on this topic, so I will start talking about my own experiences with emotional writing.
When I was younger, I was very intimidated by the thought of my peers reading or listening to my writing. The idea made me sick to my stomach to even consider letting one of my friends read what I had wrote. This was not because I was writing anything especially personal or embarrassing, but because I felt that my writing was a direct representation of my thoughts and my character, which was something that I had always been able to keep to myself. I did not want to give anybody the opportunity to judge me based on what I had written, and I was convinced that they would. I felt that I had some expectation to live up to, and I did not want to disappoint anybody based on my subpar writing skills.
In the eighth grade, we were required to do a poetry project that included writing many different types of poems and compiling them into one large collection of our own poems. Throughout preparing for this project, we were asked to share some of these poems with our classmates. Each time that I was asked to share one of my poems, I wanted to leave the classroom and never come back. Although I had always loved English and writing, there was nothing I dreaded more than those days in that class.
I am honestly not quite sure when I got over that fear, but I slowly started to realize that writing is not directly indicative of a person’s intelligence or character. I still feel a little awkward when I am waiting for a peer to read over my assignment to give me advice to improve it, but I have since learned that having a few other people look over my writing can improve it exponentially. I have also gained a greater confidence about my writing that has allowed me to take criticism and use it to enhance my future assignments.
This is why I am especially understanding of people that come in that are obviously nervous about the whole tutoring process. The Writing Center can be an incredibly intimidating place before a person comes in to meet the tutor and is hopefully comforted by the tutor. I have sat down with many people in a session where their discomfort was apparent while reading their paper out loud. Usually by the end of the session, they understand the importance of hearing what they have written in order to notice and fix any mistakes that have been made. I have found that my own experiences with emotional writing have helped me better comfort any tutees that come in feeling uncomfortable or embarrassed about their own writing.


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