I Am a Writer


This post is an assignment for English Composition I: Achieving Expertise, a writing MOOC at Coursera.

I Am A Writer

Well, first off, who am I beyond being a writer?  This is important- my writing doesn’t just show up unbidden, it’s about something in my head.  Who I am will inform what those things are and what I think about them them, what I write about and how I write about it.  I suppose you could go from my writing to working out things about me, but I think it’s easier to go the other way around.

I’m George, a 36 year old man living in Dallas County Missouri, and working at a department store in Springfield a few miles south.  I was born in Connecticut, spent a few years in the Marines, went back to Connecticut, had to move out here to MO because CT is just way too expensive.

I wrote in school for assignments, but that never really captured me.  What started awakening it as a thing in itself is the Internet.  Vast communities of people that I could engage with- through writing.  Being somewhat shy, this was quite a blessing- being able and even expected to take a few extra minutes to polish off what I had to say made me much more comfortable engaging with the world.  Many of my ideas on social justice, science, technology, and many other things were developed through various web forums and blogs- including my own.

My past efforts at blogging have been intermittent and ineffectual.  I’m looking to change that.  There are a great many social justice issues that I care deeply about.  Living in Missouri, I’m of course keenly aware of the Ferguson situation.  In my area of the state, a transgender rights bill providing basic employment and housing protections is a huge controversy for really no reason.  And the atheist community I’m a part of- there’s a whole pile of nasty business going on there right now.

Writing offers me a way to make an impact on the world despite my natural shyness, lack of financial resources, and lack of connections or expertise in navigating the power structures that need to be adjusted and/or replaced.

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