Reflection on reading and writing a narrative about myself

One of the reasons I decided I definitely wanted to take CW 110 was to write a narrative essay. I felt it would be a challenging and interesting subject to invest myself in. I also believe that without this class I probably would never have written a narrative about myself. Mostly because of time, opportunity and the million other things I could be doing. But also because of the impression it gave me of being perhaps a little self-centred or narcissistic wanting to write about myself. But as I progressed with my narrative I realised it wasn’t just about me, writing a story is about so many other things and other people. I found it a cathartic experience and one that made me realise that there is something special, liberating and relatable about sharing with others and allowing others to understand what I had experienced and been through.

When I read “A Trip to the Taj” by Bhattacharya, I realised that short essays can illustrate issues and global challenges in a personal way that news reports or academic essays can’t. I enjoyed reading Jane Hammon’s essayBoiling the Dog’s Head” which I found interesting because of its use of different formats and styles. It encouraged me to be original, mix things up and be myself when I was writing. I struggled with letting people in though. In the beginning I didn’t want classmates reading about my personal life and the things that I have had to overcome. But when I started reading other people’s narratives in class, I really enjoyed it. I felt I could learn a lot from what others had been through. My classmates’ insights were also spot-on and helped me to progress in my writing and as a person. Something I had to work on was not just giving an overview of the subject but making sure I gave enough details that the reader could picture the scene described. During class time, I felt I could really think about my essay and relate it directly to the readings we were studying. So often I would suddenly have inspiration and edit/add to my narrative during class as the ideas were coming to me.

Overall I feel happy with the essay I wrote. I think it’s a story I have been wanting to write about for a while. And as I re-read through it one last time I realise my narrative may not be finished yet. I still have a lot to say. So I might just keep on writing…

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4 thoughts on “Reflection on reading and writing a narrative about myself

  1. Hey Stefanie! I really agree with you about that feeling of narcissism, I felt that too when I was writing my narrative. I think that you did a really good job of making it not just about yourself though, and I think part of that was all those kitschy and interesting details you included. It wasn’t just a situation where you were telling us about your feelings but also what you were seeing and how you perceived the world around you.

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  2. Hey Stefanie, I also felt the same way about being able to share my narrative after I finished it. I understand how it must have felt to write something about yourself, rather than the usual academic papers we are used to writing in college. Like you, after taking CW 105, I knew that taking CW 110 would be a good choice. I feel like this class really gives students the opportunity to express themselves.

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  3. I can relate to your first point really well when you say that you initially found it narcissistic but then realized it was much bigger than that. I read your story and I think if anything, it shows a side to you that is really humble and understanding. I also hope that you keep writing that narrative and when you’re done with it, send it to me!

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