Writing Through the Years

Ten years ago, in 2007, I was 14. I graduated from eighth grade and started high school. At that stage in my life, the standard 5-paragraph essay was longest product I produced. I had never written a research paper, had no knowledge of MLA, and never planned on going to graduate school. Clearly, a lot has changed, especially regarding my writing style.

As an undergraduate English major, effective writing skills were crucial. It began with the two freshmen composition courses, where I learned to use social and political current events as fuel for argumentative essays, and how to close-read texts for literary analyses. From there, a variety of novel and writing-intensive courses helped me hone my skills as a student and writer.

I minored in Creative Writing, focusing on Fiction, and was able to strengthen my knowledge of plot conventions and dialogue through workshopping with my peers. My Introduction to Fiction Writing was the only course in my college career where I felt everyone in the class had bonded as a family. I was truly sad to leave it at the end of the semester. Since those courses, I have dabbled in various creative projects, hoping to one day unite my random ideas into a publishable novel.

My experience in the Teacher Education program at MSU broadened my horizons by serving as an opportunity to write lesson plans, community and student reports, reflection papers, and constructive criticism/positive feedback. I then decided to pursue a Master’s degree in English with a concentration in American Literature. Again, my writing style grew with me. I was no longer simply stating my opinion of the Walk on Wall Street, analyzing why the Wolf in Little Red Riding Hood is an antagonist, or modifying lesson plans; graduate writing requires perfection, new innovations, and publishable quality, which puts a greater amount of pressure on me as a writer. However, challenge is often the greatest catalyst for learning, and I am grateful for each experience.

Ten years from now, in 2027, I will be thirty-four. By then I will have graduated with my Master’s degree and hope to have a career in writing. This will be another change because I will no longer be writing essays for a course grade or GPA, but will likely be working on different projects and materials with my reputation on the line. I am confident that my experience writing through the years will provide beneficial skills to help me achieve success in my career-based writing.

Reflecting on past, present, and future writing styles is important for all writers at any age because life often takes us on paths we do not expect. Thus, we change as people and naturally our writing changes with us. We become more mature and professional; we revise old work and give it new life; we teach ourselves and acquire new skills from every experience we have. Eventually, our writing will be all that is left of our history. People will read what we have written and will piece together what our world looked like. Thus, writing will continuously serve a purpose that deserves reflection.

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