Ryan Lemieur

Eng 111 Sect. G

Carrie Tebeau

Final Blog

“Easy reading is damn hard writing.”

Nathaniel Hawthorne

In order to define myself as writer I have to distinguish who I am as person.  As a human being I am continually crossing geographic, social, religious and economic barriers in pursuit of enlightenment.   Barriers should not be feared; they test your beliefs and make you stronger in every dimension of understanding the human condition.  Things I once wholeheartedly accepted as absolute truth are now just debunked myths.   My understanding of life changes as life reveals new insight.  I am constantly wrestling with who I am as a person.   Successful people do not just act on their instincts; they challenge them and see if they are true or need to be reexamined.  To walk through life assuming simplistic viewpoint are correct in this complex world without challenging them is an awfully dangerous predilection to follow.  I have taken this generally liberal mental approach to life and applied it to my academic pursuits.  As a writer I am just beginning my literary journey.  The further I am pushed to write meaningful compositions in college the stronger my writing process and voice becomes.

At a young age I exhibited an aptitude and acuteness for writing.  I remember in the third grade and being the new kind at a new school.   Horror films series such as Nightmare on Elm St., Halloween and Friday the Thirteenth dominated every school yard conversation.   Of course I was not allowed to watch any of them.  I felt like a complete outcast among my new peers.   In my mind I was the only kid from Kansas, who had never seen a scary movie.  Looking back I strongly believe that not being permitted to watch these horror films expanded my imagination and inflamed my curiosity towards them.  With all the time I had alone to myself I fantasize and wrote exclusive stories about students from class and me being hunted by the horror villains Freddy Kruger, Mike Myers and Jason Voorhees.  I would write really clean horror stories, probably classified more as adventure stories.  This was a great way pacify my social anxieties of that time.  I can see now that I was using my writing talents to bond with my fellow peers and be accepted.

Being an outsider, I feel most alive when I am getting out of my comfort zone and taking risks.  This is contrary to the way most people maneuver around in their daily lives.  It is way too easy to permeate an unadventurous disposition for life.  Over the last year I have had a call to healing and came to the realization that I am a sincere and sensitive soul.  Contrary to all the parading around I have done over the last fifteen years of a misguided ultra machismo facade.  I had to be brutally honest with who I am.  I have concluded that without filters at my central core:  I am emotionally charged, I am passionately concerned and I love all things.  With this paramount revelation I have had to relearn the shape of my soul.  Being a hyper sensitive soul I am inclined to focus illumination not on the doom and gloom of life.  This is no easy task though.   It is a never ending moment to moment struggle to stay optimistic throughout the average day.  But the peace of mind I have at the end of the day is well worth the contest.  I now realize it is exceedingly more meaningful and helpful in life to see reality for what it is and not what you want it to be.

I have traveled just about everywhere in the United States.   Between being in the Marine Corps and driving an eighteen wheeler for most of my adult life; I have seen and experienced every facet of America.  I have learned as a writer to write about what I observe.  I think the first blog entry of the semester demonstrates this.    I feel one of my strengths is a keen capacity of observation.  I feel like my appearance and personality cloak me in zebra flash.  They allow me access into many diverse worlds.  I believe I have uncanny ability of presence to penetrate most cultural settings and observe people in their natural settings.   I love to observe the subtle human condition.   I learn compassion and empathy for people I more than likely will never meet again by poising the questions:  What really separates any of us?  Could that have been me?  Are we really all that different?  In essence I use these questions to help define a writing voice for the goal of taking a piece of each person to represent the whole of humanity.  To do this I need to be simple and clear in my writing. 

When I am asked to define myself as a writer I fondly remember reading Walt Whitman’s original and infamous Leaves of Grass.  The first few lines read “I am the poet of the body and I am the poet of the soul.  I go with the slaves of the earth, equally with the slave masters and I will stand between the masters and the slaves entering into both so that both will understand me alike.”  I think that this brilliant phrase sums up what I try strive for when in I am attempting to impartially strengthen my writing voice. 

During this first semester of college I have written more meaningful essays than I did all through high school.  At moments I felt over whelmed with all the writing assignments from this class and my others.  I did not have a home computer this semester.  It was damaged during my move in the summer.  I did most all of my writing in the computer lab on campus.  Secondly, working 45 hours a week takes away from mandatory homework time.  Learning to implement proper study habits was a continual process throughout the semester.  Despite these two set backs I whole heartily believe I rediscovered my writing talents this semester.  I have definitely strengthened my writing voice.  As a writer I strive for a creative and unique approach to developing thoughts and then shaping them into memorable writings when I am constantly challenged.  Just as my blog entries for tell a story in reverse and tell a boring story demonstrate.  I will definitely need to refine my writing process for Eng 112.  First thing will be to get in the habit of writing an essay outline first; my mind has an acute sense to wander.

Portrait from Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass