Most Writing is On-Demand (but who should it be written for?)

Education, Personal

Originally written in 2006 but recently revised for this publication.

As a writer, I epitomize exactly what I don’t want to see in my students. Sometimes, I hate to write. For me, writing is this intricate love/hate relationship. I can write about history or philosophy. I can write about the political platforms of some obscure 19th century American political parties. I could even write about the benefits of luggage. What I can not do is just write. When people ask for a writing sample I have a small panic attack and then freeze. I have to have something contextual to write about. So for me, jealousy is quietly attached to the concept of “good writers.”  For instance, in the movie Finding Forester the main character, based loosely on JD Salinger and John Kennedy Toole, says “You just write and the thinking comes later.”  I still wonder about how that happens for gifted writers.