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  Brad's Teacher Writing: "Why I Write"
 

  
January 29, 2007

The essay that follows gives my reasons for writing. In it, I use three of the "Greek Techniques" from the Writing 12 class. Read the third draft as well.

 

Fourth Draft [with substantial cuts]

Why I Write

Writing is like Dylan Thomas’s “green fuse,” a force that “drives the flower”; composing readable prose is as quintessential to me as it is for Norman Mailer, and, like him, I find the “truth” at “the point of my pen.”

Teachers were essential. I write because my seventh grade science teacher, Mr. Snidal, stopped me in the hallway and said “Hey! What you wrote was really good,” and because Sam Roddan, a teacher who taught my father and younger brother, scrawled “evocative, lovely” below a memoir. True, my teachers are not the only reason I write, but, without them, writing may never have become essential to my life.

Reading is also vital. By reading I mean everything; the internet was invented for a guy like me. I know as much about New York City as Vancouver. Books are portable—I’ve read many novels by flashlight in a tent pitched on a high mountain pass—and spent thousands of hours reading, in a rail carriage crossing into Spain, on a ferry sailing south to Crete, on a plane over the Baja. A love of reading fuels my writing every day.

Writing matters. Through reading the masters, the Orwells, Mansfields and Hemingways, I’ve learned that writing has transformative power. I’d like a small piece of this power: in my writing my own “green fuse.” Just once I’d like to write a line as powerful as “The force that through the green fuse drives the flower.” The chance I might one day makes writing important.

Writing is an ideal way to honour the legacy of my teachers, to pay back my debt to the writers I’ve read and to make some small difference to the world.

©Brad Hyde; January 22, 2007

—282 words; fourth draft (reduction of 40 words [total reduced by 65 words from first draft]). Major revision based on an oral read of sentences; also many extraneous phrases removed. General tightening of prose

Greek Techniques:

Writing is like Dylan Thomas’s “green fuse,” a force that “drives the flower”;—simile

True, my teachers are not the only reason I write, but, without them, writing may never have become essential to my life.—antanagoge

“By reading I mean everything; the internet was invented for a guy like me.”—amplification

[Third Draft]

Why I Write

Writing is like the “green fuse” in Dylan Thomas’s poem, a force that “drives the flower.” Composing readable prose is as quintessential to me as it is for Norman Mailer, and, like him, I find the “truth” at “the point of my pen.”

My teachers were essential, first of all. I write because Mr. Snidal, my science teacher in seventh grade, stopped me in the hallway and said “Hey! What you wrote was really good,” and because Sam Roddan, a teacher who taught both my father and my younger brother, scrawled “evocative, lovely” below a memoir. Thanks, too, to all the librarians and all those books. True, they’re not the only reason, but without my first teachers, writing may never have become so essential in my life.

Reading is vital, too. By reading I mean anything and everything; the internet was invented for a guy like me. I know as much about New York City as my home town, Vancouver. Books are portable —many a night I’ve read a novel by flashlight in a tent pitched on a high mountain pass. I’ve spent thousands of hours reading, in a rail carriage crossing into Spain, on a ferry sailing south to Crete, on a plane over the Baja. A love of reading fuels my writing every day.

Mostly I write because writing matters. Through reading the masters, the Orwells, Mansfields and Hemingways , I’ve learned that writing has transformative power and that I’d like a small piece of that power: my writing, my own “green fuse.” Just once I’d like to write a line as powerful as “The force that through the green fuse drives the flower,” just the chance I might one day, helps make writing matter to me.

Writing is an ideal way to honour the legacy of my teachers, to pay back my debt to the writers I’ve read and to make some small difference to the world.

—323 words; third draft (reduction of 26 words from the first draft and many rewordings although basically a proofing and not a major revision)

Greek Techniques:

“Writing is like the ‘green fuse’ in Dylan Thomas’s poem, a force that ‘drives the flower.’”—simile

“True, they’re not the only reason, but without my first teachers, writing may never have become so essential in my life.”—antanagoge

“By reading I mean anything and everything; the internet was invented for a guy like me.”—amplification

 

 

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