Label: Writer (Part 2) [ROUGH DRAFT] (Due 9/26/2014)

[Note that this is a rough draft. Most paragraphs will be spotty, maybe sentences of ideas, as well as disjointed thoughts that have yet to organize themselves. Links will be given at the end for later and more professional APA format sourcing.]

Society has a way of making things seem dour. Everything– literally, from being a gamer, to a buddhist, and even silly things such as where you come from and how you were raised can go under the eye of scrutiny that society has fine tuned over and over again. The Writer is no different, and while our actions may seem to the outside world as unproductive and unsuccessful as compared to that of a doctor or a scientist, we so easily forget how writing impacts our lives.

Whether you like it or not you read thousands of words a say, from signs to articles to chapters of a book– and this is whether you want to or not. Information is constantly given in a written form: pamphlets, newspapers, blogs– from rants about how horrible ones day was to the newest feminist movement, writing is everywhere and impacts our lives on a daily basis. Then why is it that writing garners such a bad name, and the writer such terrible characteristics? Has it always been this way? For this, we must look back.

Often writers are tagged with the specific tropes of depression, alcoholism and introversion– none of which are always completely correct. Of course, in the past, many famous writers were alcoholics. One in particular, Earnest Hemingway, fits into both the alcoholism and depression trope. As a young man in the 20’s he easily succumbed to alcohol due to his mental and physical health problems, a horrible combination. Even with help, it was unfortunate that the amazing writer had come to the conclusion that suicide was his only way out, and on July of 1961, Earnest Hemingway took his own life. (1) Other writers such as James Joyce, F. Scott Fitzgerald and Faulkner were also avid drinkers, only adding more negativity onto the label.

As for depression, there is Mark Twain, Sylvia Plath, and even the famous J.K. Rowling. However, according to research, there may be a connection between creativity and mental illnesses.(2)

Possible quotes:

“…more than the same brain region [frontal lobe], the same neurotransmitters in that region seem to be responsible in both mental illness and creativity. Flaherty explains how atypical dopamine levels can not only cause schizophrenic symptoms, but also “[influence] novelty seeking and creative drive.” In this way, both the physical and chemical evidence suggest that mental illness and creativity are extremely similar states of mind, if not identical.” (3)

This is particularly interesting to that fact that it actually proves society correct– maybe there actually is some sort of relation between a mental illness such as depression. The fact that both creativity and most mental illnesses both take place in the same part of the brain and use the same chemicals to do so definitely gives the trope some serious scientific backing… But still, these are only researchers findings, and nothing is solid fact.

“…the antipsychotic medications used to treat schizophrenia primarily target the positive symptoms– delusions and hallucinations– but may not relieve the negative symptoms of reduced motivation and lack of emotion. Such treatment can leave the patient feeling sedated and uninspired– and, as a result, less able to create… artwork.” (3)

Personal: I can relate to this. Upon my first few doses of Zoloft for my severe anxiety and depression, I felt completely uncreative and flat, as if all my ideas has suddenly been drained out of me like, or a wall of medication was standing in my way of being creative. I felt little to no emotion that I usually would experience on a daily basis due to my illnesses, which left me feeling very strange… However upon further medicating myself, my creativity has returned, and i don’t believe it has been hindered by the medication either. It is interesting how the two can correlate, and the label of writer and its stereotypes can truly go into something much more complex and scientific.

What does it take to be a writer? How does one consider themselves a writer? Certainly there is not truly set boundaries for any kind of label, only ones that society usually puts upon us, but for the person themselves to feel like a writer, the criteria is always different. Still, to be a writer, one must truly be passionate about writing. Not just getting through college essay drafts [ahem], but seriously sitting or lying down and putting that imagination to work, whether in poetry, fiction/nonfiction writing, or lyrical verse, one must love writing to actually be a writer. One should also possess a certain amount of skill top be a writer, not just writing whatever they want onto a page. Writing takes a lot of time and practice and reading, any book one wants really. Any form of writing as well. Make sure to also write a good amount each week, AT LEAST once for a few hours collectively. After all, practice makes perfect, and nobody is perfect. You do not, however, have to be some fmous published author or poet to be considered a writer, nor do you have to have depression or anxiety or any mental illness! These would be considered accidental criteria if anything.

What truly makes you a writer is your passion.

Really unpolished because I had work all day today but please review what you can!! Heck yeah

SOURCES SO FAR:

http://listverse.com/2008/01/22/top-15-great-alcoholic-writers/

http://www.everydayhealth.com/depression-pictures/famous-writers-with-depression.aspx#01

http://web.stanford.edu/group/co-sign/Sussman.pdf

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2 thoughts on “Label: Writer (Part 2) [ROUGH DRAFT] (Due 9/26/2014)

  1. 1. What could be added to the introduction to make it more inviting?
    Honestly, nothing. I think the introduction is perfect, and immediately caught my attention.
    2. Find the definition. What could be added to make this stronger?
    “Still, to be a writer, one must truly be passionate about writing.” I think not setting a formal definition and instead giving all sorts of things that make someone a ‘writer’ made the idea behind what truly makes a writer, very interesting. Leaving it so open said a lot to me, more so than attempting to list all the necessary criteria.
    3. Does the thesis encompass all the arguments made in the paper? What could be added to
    make this stronger?
    I think this was incredibly well put together, and all the parts tie together to support the thesis.
    4. What criteria does the author set up? What other criteria might be added?
    The criteria set up by the author lists several important things needed to be a writer, while emphasizing that you don’t have to be skilled, just passionate.
    5. What kind of evidence does the author use to back up the argument? List at least four
    examples and analyze the credibility and effectiveness of the evidence.
    She references many famous writers, as well as the fact that we read constantly, talking about signs, pamphlets, and other things showing the importance of writers. Her argument against the negative stereotypes often associated with writers was very well stated. When she references her own struggle with similar struggles with depression and medication, it added a very strong sense of passion. It also made the argument very effective, in my opinion.
    6. What kind of evidence could be added to make the argument stronger?
    I think there’s more than enough evidence. Aside from adding more about the struggles of other authors, and maybe more detail about them, I think it has sufficient evidence.
    7. Does the author explore the nature of the label throughout time and place? What could be
    added to make this a stronger argument?
    The author did a great job at going back in time to look at writers over the course of history, and to tie it together with her own experience as a writer today made the argument very strong.
    8. What does the author do to reach the target audience? What could be added to reach that
    audience?
    I think this paper did a great job of reaching just about anyone interested in what writers are. Especially in the introduction, it relates to such a wide range of people; basically everyone in society.
    9. What has the author done well?
    The paper flows beautifully. I found it very easy to read, and know exactly what she was talking about throughout the entire thing. It wasn’t jumpy, or confusing.
    10. What could the author do to make the paper better?
    Adding more detail about authors and their struggles throughout time. Although you did that already, just more detail couldnt hurt. Overall, amazing job!

    Like

  2. Hello! (each para answers 2 questions in respective order of the list.)

    Your introduction is quite good! my only issue with it is that I had to look up what “dour” meant, which really isn’t a complaint. It’s a great way to get people interested in the paper immediately, I suggest no changes. The definition is not introduced until the final paragraph presently, though I like how you put it. If you bring this into the ~second paragraph it’ll set the to-be-full paper up with better understanding before you hit the history portion.

    The thesis appears right in the second paragraph, comparing writers to doctors and scientists. This example is very good, but it doesn’t encompass any of your further arguments, though your further arguments in a way refer back to the way writing impacts lives. Your criteria shows up in the final paragraph, and I think it would be better suited somewhere in the middle. You might also add something about the process of writing, and perhaps how it can vary greatly from person to person. There are many different types of writers!

    Examples that enhance your arguments show up around your quotes, particularly the examples of alcoholism and depression. It is indeed sad that many of the people we consider to be “great writers” have issues, but who indeed doesn’t? To further your examples of Hemingway, Twain, etc, you bring yourself in to the equation. This helps you relate to your audience and opens yourself up, making people want to listen to you more–good move!

    You show the history of writing well, and your quotes and the popular writers you refer to aid this well. I feel as if you’re missing the potential gold mine that is Hollywood–writer’s block. The target audience appears to either be inexperienced writers or simply anybody who stereotypes writers. At the moment you reach them rather well, and I think the main improvement to me made here is to simply making it further solid writing.

    I think your best move is portraying the writer as passionate. Not only that, you fit in a ton of empathy by using the popular writers that everyone has grown to love, along with similar struggles that you have faced and overcome/are overcoming. To make the paper better, I would say keep much of the content you have, but reformat it to give it more structure and flow, perhaps going into more details and distinguishing some different types of writers. At the moment it’s a solid rough draft, some refinement will beef it up quite well, keep it up!

    Like

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