(5-5:10pm:) How was your day? Anything in in the day itself that taught you something about you, how you see your life and day and what occurs in both?
(5:10-5:35pm:) What are some of your initial observations on David Sedaris? Feel free to expand from what you texted me, if you did. Is he happy, angry, funny, self-deprecating like Irby at times? Examples?
(5:35-5:55pm:) What essay in particular speaks to you, and why? And I know there’s going to be that one student that says “I don’t relate to him at all, in any essay…” Great. Well, then how could another reader relate to Sedaris, through what ideas? Where are the universal ideas and communication in his writing?
(5:55-6:10pm:) What story from your life would write about and why? Don’t get too into it, as you’ll have time to do that on the next longer essay… just give us the general idea and your intentions with wanting to tell this story. Is it one experience, or a few related ones?
(6:10-6:25pm:) What are you learning about telling a story from one’s own life, from Irby and Sedaris? Why would anyone want to write about themselves? Why not? Why could that be the most difficult form of writing?
(6:25-6:50:) Some thoughts from me, PLEASE READ.
Short reactions from you all have looked good for the most part. Some general comments: Always title your submission with a creative, unique, and relevant title. Give the reader a sense of what you’re going to address. Also, try to have each 2-page reaction 3-four paragraphs. It’s not an essay in the traditional sense, but a reaction. Don’t overthink it. Of course all standard expectations apply (MLA, paragraphing, indenting, punctuation, supporting your idea with examples and argumentation, etc.)
Longer essays: SUPPORT YOUR OPINION. Like with the shorter reactions, title it, and stick to one point. The singular idea and the aggressive and encompassing support of it is what separates the ‘A’ paper from other grades, honestly. As an English 1A student, I expect you to have some considerable handle on these principles. However, I am here to COLLABORATE, as I’ve said since Day 1. Of course this is not the same as being in class, but I am here and more accessible than most instructors.
Build all ideas with support and your conviction and authority, your unique familiarity with what you read. Whether you like it, relate to it, or would recommend it is utterly irrelevant. Your understanding and ability to speak from that understanding is what’s valuable.
Want an ‘A’ in this class? Do all the work, that simple. Collaborate with me. Stay in the chair and develop singular ideas. Don’t summarize, but show and share your understanding of what you read, and build opinions from there.
THE JOURNAL: Use it as you wish, it’s your journal. Feel free to email or text pictures, to show me your involvement with your pages. I regard this as collaboration, and you will receive credit for it.
ASSIGNMENT DUE BY NEXT THURSDAY: Read through (meaning ‘including’) “Big Boy” in Sedaris’ book. Take notes in your journal and be prepared to speak from those.
Also, start thinking about a story from your life that you want to write about, and submit for Essay #2. What will be your main idea, what do you want your reader to walk away with?
49 Comments Add yours
1: My day has been pretty uneventful, but I always find that these types of days allow me to be really introspective and actually think about my emotions, conversations, and interactions.
2: I think David Sedaris is so brilliant. I texted to you that he seems like who cares about what other people thought of him (or at least he used to) and he also prefers to avoid confrontations. Upon reading some more, I realized how much his family influenced him. So much of his stories so far revolve around his interactions with his family. Even his mundane interactions seem to have a purpose.
3: The essay that stood out to me and spoke to me the most was “Twelve Moments in the Life of an Artist.” He decided to do art because his sister Gretchen got so much praise for it, and he took his father’s acrylic paint to start out. Like Sedaris, my family is the biggest influence on how I formed habits and behaviors. Even many of my interests were influenced by my family members. I found it interesting how his motivation in pursuing art was due to jealousy from his sister being praised for her artistic skill. It was kind of like he didn’t even like art but he wanted to prove that he could be as good at it as his sister was. Maybe I related to that because spite can be one hell of a motivator. I just loved how he can make something so simple into a really fascinating story. Conversations that we might have thought were pointless can actually teach us and influence us so much.
4: I would write about what experiences that influenced my personal philosophies, the principles I use to guide my life. I believe everyone is constantly learning and enjoying what we learn is so important, so I’d like to share those ideas with other people too.
5: Someone writing their own story allows me to really connect with their stories, even more so than just seeing them as words on a page. I get to witness their human experience. Reading Irby and Sedaris makes me see how similar and relatable every human life is. We are all capable of good and bad. We are all just trying to figure ourselves out, and sometimes that’s easy, but it’s hard for most people. I think it could be difficult because of how honest someone has to be to write about their own life. It’s not easy to laugh at yourself but Sedaris and Irby make it seem so effortless.
1. Overall my day has been pretty good, mostly just focusing on accomplishing school. I work around 30 hours a week, so I try to take advantage of my days off wisely. I did find it challenging however to stay motivated and on track, as I tended to get sidetracked and distracted. I’m looking forward to tonight though because the Giants are playing the Dodgers in a postseason elimination game. Let’s go Giants!!
2. My initial reaction to David Sedaris was that he is extremely observant and intune with his emotions and the feelings of others. He gave descriptful insights into his own life growing up, but also the lives surrounding him. I also thought he offered us a new approach to writing freely: quote people, exaggerate, and insult yourself. He examplified eloquent writing skills yet was very laid-back. He was not as boisterous as Samantha Irby, but I found him to be just as humorous, creating laughs out of uncomfortable situations. Though both him and Irby can be self-deprecating, highlighting their flaws or imperfections. For example, as readers we got an inside look at his speech therapy and how that insecurity shaped his thought about himself and others.
3. I related to the essay “You can’t kill the rooster” due to the fact that throughout my own childhood I felt like my family was unique and I constantly wanted to just grow up “normal”. Looking back now I realize there is no such thing as normal, but as a kid you question every little decision your parents make. I was homeschooled, so I grew up being compared to the regular school experience, and never felt good enough for the people who actually went to school. Secondly, David Sedaris stated that him and his younger brother were raised in two completely different households, and as the oldest daughter of four kids I can also testify. My younger siblings are so fortunate to have me as I was the guinea pig and test child. My siblings do not nearly get the amount of punishment I did as a child, and could totally relate to the older sibling problem.
4) I personally would love to write about how my flamboyant, always happy personality is a strength but has also become my weakness. Growing up, I was scared of emotions or feeling anything besides joy. It has now led me to feel numbed and not feel like I have a honest relationshipwith myself. I now realize as an adult how detrimental that is, and I wish at a younger age started to show how I was feeling in an open and healthy manner.
5) I am learning through book these books that being transparent and honest is okay. We do not need to glamorize our life, instead we should normalize our strengths and weaknesses because that is who we are. We should gave no shame in admitting our problems. As cliche as it sounds, both books have allowed me to come to terms with what I need to do to improve myself and my relationships with others. I think when you are writing about yourself, you are writing about the person who should have the most knowledge about. I think we see biographies as egotistical, when really they are helping us by spewing insights from their life into ours. I think it could be one of the most difficult forms of writing because you are reliving alot of experiences and emotions from your past, and that cannot always feel easy. In fact, it can be mentally exhausting.
I like what you said about life experiencing influencing one owns “personal philosophy”. I have certainly gone through experiences that completely changed my morals and how I think about and perceive certain things. I think these kinds of monumental inner changes are present in both Irby’s and Sedaris’s retellings of their lives.
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My day today was really good. I have been working on my assignments. Getting work done. An observation I noticed on David Sedaris when reading his book is that he’s funny. Him and Irby have some things in common such as both are authors and both right about their lives. They both have short stories of memories they have from their childhood.They know their own weaknesses and aren’t afraid to point them out. I find that very interesting. I can tell that David Sedaris has been through a lot and especially as a child. In my opinion I found this book funny. “Me Talk Pretty One Day” is a collection of Sedaris’s short stories from his life. I noticed that when reading this book. He uses a humorous tone to highlight how learning a new skill can be both an embarrassing and joyful experience. An essay that stood out to me was when he explains that It often seems that his brother and him were raised in two completely different households. David goes into detail how his younger sibling Paul had more freedom than what he had when he was his brother’s age. This speaks to me because I also have a younger sibling. I can say that my sibling has a little more freedom than I do which is weird because we are three years apart. I can relate to David when he explains how his younger sibling has more freedom than he does. A story that I would write about would be how confident, positive I am. Talk about what motivates me and how I guide my life. When learning about Irby/David, writing about them gets me to know them better and understand them. I say they write about themselves because they like to go into full detail about their childhood/memories. It’s interesting to me that they write essays about their lives. I say that both Irby’s/David’s writing style and attitude would be free and their’s. I say free because they describe their writing and both enjoy talking about their lives. And theirs because the writing is theirs.
My day was alright, nothing more than just a relaxing afternoon of boring science lectures and long naps to recuperate from the chaos and intensity of yesterday. I believe The Now is telling me that although I enjoy busy work and pushing myself to achieve my goals I need a bit of downtime once my sleep schedule begins to take the brunt of the load. An important lesson to be known is “Be motivated but not stupid.” Knowing what your limits are is perfectly fine, just gives you a chance to push them farther and farther with every project or assignment.
Today felt weird at first. I ended up waking up later than usual which made me think that the day would be hectic, though I ended up finishing my schoolwork early and had time to workout in the afternoon. I am used to having to do this late at night. If today taught me anything it is that sometimes things appear to be much harder than actually are. This was specifically the case when studying for my stats exam next week. Going into it I had the mindset that I would be confused by every single practice problem, though most of them were relatively easy. Fortunately I am feeling confident going into the exam next week. It is interesting that our view of an upcoming event can change instantly just based on how we do during preparation for the event.
My day was pleasant. I worked prepping for an upcoming wedding this weekend. My new coworker brought me a gift today, one of his first knives. It really caught me off guard and I was touched by his thoughtfulness. We have only known each other for a few weeks but we have shared some good conversations and I can tell that when we speak to each other we both are actively listening. It’s reaffirming to know that when you take the time to truly hear someone’s story and engage with them that bonds can be formed swiftly.
Today I had one of those days where it was very hard for me to get out of bed and get going even though I knew I had a lot to accomplish today. I find that if I’m feeling really down or lazy I have to take smaller steps that require less effort but are still productive. Like this morning, I finished my essay for art history laying in bed on typing my phone, because that felt easier than getting up. After I finished the essay I got up, did some laundry for the first time in way too long, and got back into bed to read Sedaris’s book while listening to records and eating snacks. I finished my painting due for class tomorrow while lounging in the sun with my cat. You might think my day sounds lazy and that I am an unmotivated useless student but I got everything done!! On days like this where I stay at home alone all day with no in-person classes or shift at work, feelings of loneliness, depression, and tiredness tend to creep up on me. I’ve learned to find small ways to still be productive while still being a bit indulgent and slow-paced.
1. My day was okay, I went to work and everyone was pretty sweet, which is good because sometimes bad customers can really make or break my mood. I went home and did homework and that is probably what I will be doing for the next few hours. I am hoping I get to do something uneventful in the later hours because I am a busy body and really try to make the most out of everyday.
2. I think David Sedaris carries the authenticity trait the same way Irby does, but is much more intentionally comical with the ways of his writing. I really have been enjoying this book for its light hearted nature. Right off the bat he seemed like a fun and inviting person, someone who you would instantly gravitate to because of his upbeat energy. I am interested to get into his deeper emotions if he allows us to in the further essays ahead.
3. I texted this to you earlier today, but the essay the Twelve Moments in the Life of an Artist really stuck out to me because of his ability to so accurately portray the eyes of an avid drug user in a light hearted but informational way. This also gave me an insight on my brothers, who, I just figured out fairly recently, were Crystal Meth users in the past similar to David. With this essay I was able to slightly understand better why they were doing what they did, and how they viewed the drug so glamorously. To me it has always been a given to stay away from hard drugs as such but after understanding addiction and this essay showing me the euphoria they feel, I can get a better grip into why they held onto the drug for so long.
4. I think I would like to write about my own character development, how I got where I am today, who and what inspired me to do so. Specifically capitalizing on freshman year and my immense amounts of immaturity that I displayed every single day for a long long time. I would also talk about my roller coaster in mental health throughout these crucial years of change.
5. I commend the people who are able to write so deeply and intimately on their own lives, I could never do it. Opening up a birds view on my own life for hundreds and thousands of people to read and judge for themselves, you would have to be a very confident and secure person to do so. This would also be hard because as we live our lives we don’t necessarily recall every moment, and as we go on day to day we live for the moment, so writing a whole book on yourself, unless slowly picking away day to day and writing about experiences from that day, that would be extremely difficult. These two authors have put aside their ego to talk about the mistakes they have made in life, for others and themselves to laugh at, this would be very hard for the average person because naturally we all want to seem perfect, so we don’t really talk about these experiences, nonetheless share them with hundreds of people.
2) David seems uncomfortable with himself, not necessarily because of a lack of confidence but because he is misunderstood and unaccepted for who he is, gay, this is especially true as a child ( He has not elaborated too much on his self as an adult and being gay). I like his dry sense of humor, I guess it could be seen as self-deprecating but it feels lighter than Irby’s approach. While I see Sedaris as uncomfortable and hard on himself I do think that he values himself. He knows he has worth and stories worth sharing, he is not one to self-pity.
2) It seems that Sedaris was forced into the world of music and academia as a child by his father. Though it is obvious he does not belong in this world. Sedaris seems to be both humorous and self-deprecating, he often tells stories about his life that many would find funny. Also he doesn’t seem to have a positive image of self, he makes fun of his attempts to be an artist and awkward music lessons. Being able to laugh at our mistakes is important because no one is perfect and we are all bound to have our fair share of embarrassing moments. He does a fantastic job of finding a way to laugh at his less than perfect moments. On top of this he likes to make fun of his father for forcing what he enjoyed on his son. Sedaris has the wisdom to realize that not everyone has the same interests, unfortunately his father had too high of a self image to realize this. Calling his father out for this injustice seems like the way Sedaris coped with the pain he felt during his upbringing.
I really enjoy Sedaris’s humor, I feel that it is less vulgar and in-your-face than Irby’s but still very witty and hilarious. I like that he is self deprecating by pointing out flaws others notice in him and reflecting on silly decisions he has made in his past, rather than just straight-out insulting himself. For example, he makes lots of jokes about his lisp and how his speech teacher treated him because of it, but never insults himself for the way he talks. I think his family dynamic is super funny and interesting. I think Sedaris does a great job developing the other “characters” or people involved in his stories. Irby seemed to briefly describe the other people in her life mainly focused on herself; Sedaris treats others as essential components to his story and dedicates time to vividly describe each character to the reader. His father is certainly a very eccentric and strange man, and Sedaris does a really good job of communicating this particular point. I also find his childhood perceptions of his guitar teacher both hilarious yet touching and insightful.
Initial observations right off the bat with Sedaris were an honest level of intrigue. Before even beginning the book I watched a couple of interviews/storytimes with Davis Sedaris to understand the objective of his voice, looks, and cadence of speech. Not doing this early on is what partially clouded my experience with Irby. David Sedaris is such a new and fresh mindset, to be funny without being overly vulgar was such a relief. David Sedaris is similar to Irby in the way they are both honest about life, not letting other people control their perspectives, and taking accountability for themselves as human beings by using humor as a medium of expression. The difference however is when I read Irby it was often met with the roll of the eyes after another uncomfortably detailed retelling of some sexual experience, but when I read Sedaris the word that comes to mind is wit. Not only is David Sedaris just naturally funny it is very clear that he is quite clever, finding shortcuts or unexpected routes to achieve his goals or avoid the demands of others. This is not a shot at Irby’s intelligence, simply just the observation I have come to. I have a feeling this will be a very entertaining book.
My day has been pretty good. I went out to buy a gift for my older brother’s anniversary this weekend. Wasn’t sure what to get at first but I figured it out eventually. I worked on homework for my art class and that made the day go by pretty fast.
My initial observation on David Sedaris is that he is very emotional and observant of the things happening around him. He gave a lot of details about his life in the beginning essays. He’s always noticing details about the people around him, and wonders what their life is like. I am definitely very impressed with his writing and I have really enjoyed reading the book so far.
The essay that I relate to the most so far is “Twelve Moments in The Life of An Artist”. I liked the fact that Sedaris’ sister Gretchen was able to get into RISD, which is a pretty great achievement. The essay overall was fun to read because I enjoy anything that has something to do with art.
The story that I would write would be about my life in the US so far and how I adjusted when I first came here. I would also write about my art career so far.
One thing that I have learned from telling ones own life story is that it requires a lot of courage. You have to go back to certain memories that you don’t particularly like, or writing about things that you aren’t most proud of. I think it could be the most difficult form of writing because It requires you to be honest and open about sharing your life.
Twelve Moments in the Life of the Artist speaks loudly to me. Reading about drug use, the creative process, art, and hardship has always interested me ( Keroac, Bukowski, Burroughs, ). I myself am an artist and somebody who has spent my early twenties making art and participating in transgressive walks of life. I suppose this is where my interest comes from. I appreciate Sedaris’s approach in this piece because the point of his writing is not to glorify drug use or the confusion of becoming an artist. Rather he is writing the story to show what following this path taught him. It’s a mature perspective on a genre of writing that often only archives to embolden others in poor decision-making. Sedaris is someone that I can relate to, but more importantly, I see him as someone I can learn from. By showing me his personal dilemmas in this story I am more receptive to hearing what else he has to say about himself and life as a whole.
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I could’t remember the name of this one but I really enjoyed it too. It crazy how many artists are reliant on substances for their creative process. Makes me think about the chicken or the egg analogy. Did the drugs give them the creative energy or did the creative energy lead to the drug use as a way to further expand their artwork and creativity.
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I’m really glad someone else chose this essay to write about too as I found it super relatable and valuable. He described the culture of drugs he was immersed in but doesn’t romanticize or glorify it; it is a cautionary tale. I also see Sedaris as someone I can learn from as an artist and a creative, empathetic person like he seems to be.
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3) Giant Dreams and Midget Abilities has been the essay I have been able to connect with on a deeper level. Sedaris was forced to attend music lessons and was expected to do quite well academically by his parents. He did not like this simply because music halls and classrooms are places he did not belong. It seems to be more of a free spirit who needs less structure and more of getting to design his own path. I can relate to this because my family also expected me to become someone I was never cut out to be. Though I tried my hardest to fulfill their expectations I was never able to reach the level of success that I was supposed to be at. In hindsight the fear of not reaching this is what caused me to fail. With time my parents began to allow me to become my own person and this is when I truly began to find success. I have never been able to take advice and have had to find the answers on my own. It seems that Sedaris is the same way. Throughout his life he experiments with everything, good and bad, to find what he truly enjoys. I hope that through reading more of his essays I will find that he was able to find himself and develop a life he enjoys living.
Giant Dreams and Midget Abilities has been the essay I have been able to connect with on a deeper level. Sedaris was forced to attend music lessons and was expected to do quite well academically by his parents. He did not like this simply because music halls and classrooms are places he did not belong. It seems to be more of a free spirit who needs less structure and more of getting to design his own path. I can relate to this because my family also expected me to become someone I was never cut out to be. Though I tried my hardest to fulfill their expectations I was never able to reach the level of success that I was supposed to be at. In hindsight the fear of not reaching this is what caused me to fail. With time my parents began to allow me to become my own person and this is when I truly began to find success. I have never been able to take advice and have had to find the answers on my own. It seems that Sedaris is the same way. Throughout his life he experiments with everything, good and bad, to find what he truly enjoys. I hope that through reading more of his essays I will find that he was able to find himself and develop a life he enjoys living.
5:00-5:10 – My day today has been long but good. I worked from 7 am-4 pm. I love my job. It does fit me. I like sports so working at Nike is just a great experience for me. Just got home like an hour ago, ate some food and now I’m here responding. Today was a day that just showed me how few hours we have in a day. I always hear that and today just showed me that because we have so much to do in our everyday life as well as in our professional life, but we also only have like 12 hours to do all of it.
5:10-5:35- David Sedaris is more of a comedian that makes jokes about his life but doesn’t do it in a way that is poking fun at himself. A good example is the opening intro to chapter one when he calls his therapist an FBI agent it is so funny because he is really hyping this moment as a suspenseful moment and then you learn it his speech therapist and is just really funny because you had this high suspense and it all comes crashing down
5:35-5:55- The essay that speaks to me has to be the second one. While I didn’t experience the exact same experience with the guitar, I did have a similar experience. He had his dad who was trying to get him to play the guitar, and he just didn’t like it. The reason why I can relate is that my dad wanted me to play Soccer he would buy me all the gear and take me out to play soccer so many times. From the start, I knew that it wasn’t for me, but he always wanted me to try and thought I would like it. With David he realized singing was for him, and for me, I wanted to play basketball.
5:55-6:10- I think that the story that I want to talk about is either when I had this rough head injury from a bike accident, or when I moved in the middle of the school year to a whole new town. These two moments have both shaped my life, and have taught me so much, that I think it would be good to share. They also have really interesting stories.
6:10-6:25- I think a thing that I have learned from both of them is to be engaging don’t just write share your thoughts, and tell some jokes to lighten the mood. I think this makes it so while it is still about you it feels less serious and more like a conversation.
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4) I would like to write about my relationship with my mother. It obviously chronicles numerous events but I also feel that I could illustrate some of my feelings by describing individual events/stories. My mother has chronic seizures and struggles with alcoholism, both of these afflictions have put a strain on our relationship. I love my mother and I am increasingly seeking to establish a stronger relationship with her. I think that by writing about this I would be better able to understand the situation myself.
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4) I am planning on writing how high school altered me as a person, this happened multiple times. More specifically, how it altered my values, goals, relationships and self confidence.
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3) (sorry, I forgot to number my first two responses and can’t go back and edit them) I really enjoyed and related to the essay “The Twelve Moments in the Life of an Artist”. I went to an art-based high school rather than college, but I still relate to the way he described the culture amongst the art students. There is a very real stereotype and belief that good art is fueled by emotional turmoil; trauma, heartbreak, or just persistent gloominess or mental instability. Drugs are taken and distributed casually and are often romanticized among young people as a way to unleash your “true creative potential”. Sedaris describes how he never felt successful as an artist despite trying out many different art forms until he discovered hard drugs. When he was high, he saw the world through rose-colored glasses. He became closed off and pretentious; he writes, “everything around me was art, from the stains in my bathtub to the razor blade and short length of drinking straw I used to cut and ingest my speed”. I personally have struggled as well with addiction and depression while simultaneously being an art student and lots of this hit very close to home. I was surprised that Sedaris noticed and experienced many of the same things during the 70’s I have in the past few years. Like Sedaris, I too have had to realize that being an artist doesn’t equate to being miserable and self-destructive. Just as much value and creativity can come out of positive emotions as negative ones.
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1) My day was one of the best days I’ve had in weeks. It wasn’t too busy/stressful but I wasn’t bored. Today taught me that I am strong enough to get through hard times.
2) I think David Sedaris is creative. He was able to tell his stories with a hint of fantasy. He still tells his real story but he adds small details that keep it really interesting as a reader. For example, in the first essay when he described his speech therapist as an agent. It isn’t a huge detail but it add an element of fun that can really hook the reader. He does a good job adding those little elements of fantasy without distracting from the actual story.
3) The essay that has stuck out the most to me so far is “Go Carolina”. This essay speaks to me because I had a similar experience where a teacher told the class about what I was going through. I could relate to the embarrassment Sedaris was feeling. This essay built an immediate connection between Sedaris and myself. I felt like our similar struggle made me be able to relate to Sedaris and build that connection.
4) I would write about the five years I wrestled. I chose this topic because it was full of highs and lows and wrestling taught me how to use my voice to stand up for myself and others.
5) You learn more smaller details about yourself. When looking back at a pivotal moment in your life you usually look at the big details and don’t remember the small ones. When you have to write about the story you will have to really think about everything that was involved with the story and you will start to remember smaller details. I find when I tell someone a story from my life I start to remember more details the more I tell the story. Then I start to remember little details that were good but I had forgotten about. This isn’t always a good thing and could make this type of writing difficult. Recalling events in your life could remind you of details that you blocked from your memory because they upset you.
4. I plan on writing about my experience throughout high school and up until this point. Over these four and a half years I have defiantly changed a lot. Priorities have changed, many lessons were learned some of which the hard way, and overall just really figuring out who I am and what I stand for.
4) Even though there is stigma around it and it can be difficult for me to write about, I think writing about the extensive time I spent as a teenager in psych wards and residential treatment centers would be a valuable topic. While some of the stories are really dark and messed up, others are really funny, and others are touching and describe real friendship. These months really influenced who I am as a person and how I live my daily life now, you don’t realize how much freedom and luxury you have in everyday life until it is suddenly taken from you. My friends have often told me I could write a whole book with all of these stories. There is also a very recent and upcoming movement of people exposing the TTI (Troubled Teen Industry) online. Parents who send their kids to residential treatment programs, as well as the general public, have no clue what really occurs behind the closed doors of these programs.
3) The essay that spoke to me the most so far has been ‘Giant Dreams, Midget Abilities’ since it covers the topic of over-eccentric music tutors and jazz, two subjects I have been able to experience personally. Growing up in a house of athletes my brother and I were told only to improve our bodies but our minds as well, to grow and understand the aspects of ourselves both physically and mentally. While my brother picked up the basic clarinet I knew that drums were the route for me, the power and control over the sound drew me in like a bear to honey. And boy was performance sweet. Unfortunately, due to the overly high passion for jazz that Sedaris’ father pushed into his children, they did not necessarily share my personal passion. The idea I have seen most commonly in the book so far is the childhood of Sedaris and his sisters being partially rundown by the ambition and, in the nicest way possible, the surprising disconnect from practical reason of their father. He meant well but perhaps he was too much in his own mind at times.
5. After reading about Irby and now Sedaris they are two very different individuals but similar in the aspect that their stories are uniquely their own, the good, the bad, and the ugly. I like this style of writing very much as it humanizes the author and allows the reader to have a greater connection to them. I think the primary reason an author would write about themselves is because it allows them to vent. Sometimes it is easier to write about things than it is to say them, this sense of ownership of ones actions through writing allows the author to gets things off their chest.
5) Telling a story that one personally experienced is a great way to connect with someone. This is a great way to offer advice to a like minded individual because it helps put the advice in context for them. The reader can use the story as a guideline for how they wish to go about living out their own story. I have been enjoying the self essay genre and plan on trying to find some more to read on my own time after the class concludes. They are always relatable no matter who is telling stories and I tend to walk away with a greater ability to reflect on my own decisions. (my bad for posting prompt 3 twice, I thought it failed to upload originally)
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5) I am learning that telling one’s own story isn’t a selfish act or something that has to be building one’s ego. Its the story we all know best, so it’s the best story we can tell. The difficultly is being okay with disclosing aspects of yourself that we tend to hide. If a personal story is to be believable then the unflattering details must not be omitted. When an author does this it makes the reader feel more comfortable with their own insecurities or struggles, this makes the writing immensely powerful. We are all fairly similar and though we live separate lives at our core we all have the same emotions and fears. By sharing personal stories that don’t hold these back, we are reminded of our greater commonality as humans. In a world that prizes uniqueness, I find this form of storytelling to be incredibly refreshing.
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My day wasn’t bad at all but, it did feel very long. I had practice throughout the middle of the day and class after. Once I finally got back home all I wanted to do was go to bed. Instead, I worked on homework and caught up slightly in most of my classes. In the last month my days seem very repetitive, today was no different. Having such a repetitive schedule makes months go by and I barely remember what happened or what I accomplished. I would describe David Sedaris as considerably different from Samantha Irby. My first reaction was he has a much quieter tone. He doesn’t seem to have the same confidence either. I had a pretty easy relation to “Giant Dreams, Midget Abilities” because when I was younger my parents wanted me to play an instrument. I never practiced voluntarily. I also despised music lessons but for different reasons. I just wanted to go outside and move around playing sports, but I still felt his pain in being forced to learn an instrument. It took around three years for my parents to finally give up and accept that creating music wasn’t going to be my future. I would most likely write about a baseball tournament I played back in seventh grade. It’s one of my greatest memories, a story I won’t ever forget. It won’t be easy thanks to poor memory and the difficulty of writing about yourself. Writing about yourself is the hardest thing for me to do. It takes a lot on self awareness, something that I lack. It also takes confidence in sharing yourself with others. I could totally see why people avoid writing about themselves. It’s much easier to judge others than yourself and I think the same principle applies.
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4) I would probably write about the Fall of 2019 since it was the semester when I decided to completely quit sports altogether and fully pursue performance/theater. I had been toeing the line for months previous but once I experienced the ridicule from teammates and coaches by trying to divide my time, I said “screw it I’m done”. It would be an essay following the concept of making happiness a priority instead of pleasing others.
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I am not in theater and have no interest in it, however I commend you for perusing what you love. I too quit several sports in high school because of the politics of coaches and teammates. I know from experience it can be hard because of the pressure coaches put on athletes and the expectations they have. But after all it is your time and it should be spent doing something you love.
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5) I think that writing about one’s own life is as valuable to the author as it is to potential readers. I have found retelling stories from my life to be extremely cathartic and healing. It also helps me remember more details, and it helps me reflect on what truly happened beyond whatever I felt when it was happening; what other people may have felt, or why they responded how they did. It helps me see the big picture and realize what I learned and carried along with me. Even if you don’t have an affinity or fondness for writing, I think everyone should journal or document their important life experiences soon after they happen. You will be able to relive the memory again and also have a way to read back and remember everything when you are older and want to reconnect with your younger self.
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5) It may be a bit of an odd concept but the thing I realized from reading other people’s life stories is that, on a serious and honest level, sharing them is not necessary. To be completely fair, it really doesn’t matter if you share your individuality at all because it makes no difference in the grand scheme of things. However, it is imperative as humans to be able to connect and feel with other people and to be seen. Nobody writes a book on their own life for any other reason than ego, to make sure that they are understood. That they are seen and are recognized, pitied, or otherwise. Why write your own personal experiences when you can slap together a fictitious story that does just as well in bringing up the same concepts. It is done because we are scared that we are alone and if we share that fear and put it out into the universe, we might be able to find other scared people with their own unique lives. Suddenly we’re not alone anymore, suddenly we are no longer scared. Humans love themselves as they should, showing off every once in a while isn’t a bad thing. In fact, it should honestly be incouraged.
1)My day was busy/stressful running errands, going back and forth is draining but I’ve learned I get overwhelmed very fast and sometimes I need to slow down and not push myself so hard quickly.
2)Initially I was very intrigued by David ‘s writing, he’s humorous but shy. Comparing that to the first book that we read by Samantha Irby they are very different but yet so similar. David is more of a shy person who avoids things but Samantha she’s more of an out of the box type of person, but they are both very humorous which I really enjoy in both of their writings.
3)The Essay “You Can’t Kill the Rooster” caught my attention right away, David and his family moved to a new state where everyone acted and spoke differently and had different slang but they were told to not pick up the way that they talked/ said things. I can also relate to this, when I moved schools I was told to not pick up certain habits.
4)I went through a really big tragedy in my life that has/had affected my life greatly in both good and bad ways. It’s something that I never talk about with anyone, and writing about it and letting people read will let off a high weight on my shoulders.
5)People can express themselves better in writing as well as someone who is reading can relate to them as well on a personal level. In writing you can say anything which is a good and bad thing. Certain people don’t like to have people read about their life and the personal things, but those are the things that make people entertained.
1) My day kicked off to a slow start unfortunately. I have a lot of things I need to get done today and yet somehow I didn’t get out of bed until 11:30am. I know I am still going to get them done, but I wish I started off being more productive.
2) Some initial observations that I have about David Sedaris is that the way it is formatted is similar to Irby’s book. He talks about stories from his personal life like she did and shares intimate details. For instance when he talked about his fear of getting “excited” while sketching a nude model. However, I believe that David takes more of a purposeful comical approach. He is often making comments that seems as though their sole purpose is to make the reader laugh.
3) I would write about the story of how sports have influenced my life and what I have learned from them. I hve experienced some of the happiest memories through my sports career, but also some really hard times and I think I would learn a lot about myself if I wrote it all down.
4) I have noticed that when writing a story about yourself it is the most beneficial to everyone if you keep it as honest as you can. This will help readers learn more about you and maybe even help them relate to what you write. Someone might make the decision to write about themselves in order to learn something about themselves that they’ve never understood before. It may help them look at situations with a different point of view or get past something that they have been holding in. However, that could be the same reason that someone wouldn’t write about themselves. Some people might not be ready to be honest with themselves let alone an entire audience. They might be afraid of judgment or afraid of realizing something about themselves if they are too honest.
1) My day yesterday was okay, mostly busy with work and then school. I think lately being really busy has given me an understanding that making time for yourself and your mental health is important.
2) In my opinion David Sedaris isn’t like Irby, Sedaris doesn’t have as much confidence as Irby does. He cares about what others think about him and if they’re negative opinions, he thinks that’s what he is. In the essay “Giant Dreams, Midget abilities”, he thought he wasn’t good enough to become a song stylist, but his teacher from his guitar lessons told him he wasn’t good enough.
3) What I said previously in number two is honestly the chapter that really intrigued me. I also understand Sedaris when he lets others’ opinions make an impact on him because I do it sometimes too. I like drawing and painting a lot and when I ask other people for their opinions on the work and they aren’t what I wanted to hear, I let it affect me.
4) I think I would like to write about how I got to where I am today and my journey dealing with mental health.
5) Honestly I like that there are books out there with authors writing about their own life journey because books are just like music and movies. It is telling a story, it helps you understand that person more and makes you feel less alone if you relate to the person/chapter. Writing about your own life can really help like for me I like writing in my journal. It helps me remember details I would forget about, but it’s also great to look back and read it a year later and reflect on how much I’ve changed and the progress I have made. For authors maybe it is hard writing about their own life because they’re publishing it. They might not want to publish certain chapters of their life.
1) My day started out a little rough but a nice hike with my dog fixed that. I typically try to avoid going outside when I’m feeling off just because I tend to be tired, but going outside and getting some sunshine really helps.
2) David Sedaris strikes me as a funny guy. He seems like he went through the idea of maybe arguing with his masculinity as he used to see singing as “gay”. I wouldn’t say that he’s depreciating though, he’s just aware of himself and others. Also, his stories tend to revolve around his family life which I think is interesting because it would explain why he writes and acts the way he does.
3) Genetic Engineering was the most relatable to me. My dad is also an engineer and talked about things to the point I would lose interest. Although we do share one interest and that is engineering, though I strongly dislike his side of engineering much to his disappointment. I like mechanical engineering and he likes electrical which I am very, very bad at. I share more of my interests with my mom though such as photography and being out in nature. My dad though could start a conversation that others would want to listen to if he enjoyed talking to others. As a child I also did experiments just nothing like the putting the hamster in a freezer because that’s messed up. My experiments were kinda boring now that I think of it.
4) I would most likely write about my family and my trips abroad because both have shaped me into who I am today. I’ve learned from the past so I don’t make the same mistakes in my future. It would be a collection of different events in my life and how they have impacted me.
5) I am learning that I would not want to write about my life. I’m not entirely sure why anyone would but maybe they just want to tell their story. Maybe they think it’ll be helpful for others to hear or maybe they think that their life would simply make an entertaining story. Sharing your life story makes you vulnerable. Everyone is going to know whatever you write about yourself and if you get criticism on the book it’s most likely going to be about you and not the story itself.
(5-5:10pm) For a thursday it was pretty standard. Wake up, study, work out, relax, go to work, come home, play some games, and go to bed. However, it was a bit more special because of how the day unfolded for me. I actually had someone to work with me during my shift, rare, so I was pretty happy throughout the shift because I enjoyed having these human interactions that pushed my day along a little bit quicker and got to know some people. It reminds me of how much I crave to socialize with someone in my own way.
(5:10-5:35pm) So far Im enjoying David Sedaris because of his witty retelling of his memories, but he does this with a twist of human emotion, for lack of a better term. What I mean is that in each chapter there is something meaningful in what he recounts in the pages, that have to do with the people interacting, that I can’t quite tell what is it yet, so I’ll have to see as I keep reading if I can figure it out.
(5:35-5:55pm) “You Can’t Kill the Rooster” definitely comes to mind because it tells a story of Paul, the Rooster, and his dad who are close no matter their differences. It reminds me of my family because between me and my parents we are so different that you wouldn’t be able to tell that I was raised by them. I have like different music, food, clothes, speech, and our approaches to life are different. However, we are able to get along and if one of them were to pass away of course I would visit to bring company and to support them for their happiness.
(5:55-6:10pm) What does the story need to be. Can it be funny? Does it have to be meangingful? Depending on what I need the story to be I could definitely recount some great moments from my life if need be. It would probably have to be a memory amongst my friends, and there’s a lot to cherry pick from there.
(6:10-6:25pm) If I have to recount a story from my life and present the way David and Samantha do it I would struggle to bring the same ‘umph’ and personality to my writing that they are so masterful at imbuing in their writing. For me the most difficult part about retelling a story like they would is how to present it. How should I present the environment, events, and people included? They can pull it off, but I doubt myself to make even a mediocre representation of a story I have. That being said, I will figure it out.
1. I started the morning with a little mediation and some affirmations while getting ready for work. I work the job I hate on the weekends but I tried to have an attitude of gratitude that it wasn’t 40 hours a week that I was there. I learned that being patient and kind in a tense situation can actually steer the situation in a positive direction. Something I already knew but still find hard to do when in the moment.
2. I find Sedaris to be very self deprecating. I think that he also has a way of looking beyond the surface of people. He seems to catch himself judging others often but then learns that his perception isn’t always correct. In his essays regarding his speech teacher and his guitar teacher he displays this characteristic which I believe is empathy.
3. I must say that my favorite essay so far has been the story of his parents getting the Great Dane and acting like it was the best thing that ever happened to them. I used to tell my Mom I think she loves her dog more than she loves me. Now that I have a grandpuppy I totally understand why people love their dogs, often seemingly more than their own children.
4. I’ve been thinking about what story from my own life I would write about for a few days and still don’t know yet. It seems I have many sad or traumatic stories and rarely many happy ones. I don’t want to write a story that bums people out or seems like I’m looking for sympathy. I could write about the birth of my daughter, which is the best thing that has ever happened, or will ever happen to me( my grandpuppy may very well be a close second).
5. I’m learning that a story that is sad is much easier to read when it’s also funny. Don’t hesitate to poke fun at yourself whenever possible when writing a story. Maybe people want to write about themselves because their experiences could help someone else as well as themselves at the same time. Some people are very private and some carry a lot of shame or guilt about their experiences and wouldn’t want others to judge them. Writing about difficulties in life can open a lot of wounds that people may not have really ever dealt with. There are some people who are ok with this and they go about their lives unbothered by unhealed trauma or they find it easier to forget and move on. And there are others who are all for ripping off the bandaid, so to speak, and getting knee deep in the pain again so they can heal it in the way they find the most fitting. Perhaps writing about it gives them a good outlet and can help them to find some type of closure or a deeper understanding of why things happen the way that they do.
Last Thursday for me was a little stressful I guess. I started working two weeks ago and I work Friday through Sunday eight-hour shifts. Today has taught me how managing your time is so important. I’m glad that I’m very organized and always keeping up-to-date with my work. Some observations I have made on David Sedaris is that he is somewhere just like Irby because they both are documenting Journey throughout their life. He is very sarcastic and self-deprecating, funny and all the above. The essay where his father wants to get him into doing guitar speaks out to me because our parents always want the best for us and expect us to do as they say. And within the time we grow and we acknowledge and learn what we like and what we dislike and just become our own person whether they like it or not. The story of my life I would want to write about is trusting my intuition and believing in myself. I’m learning throughout these books that being transparent and realistic is totally ok because at times I would find myself thinking I was crazy for thinking the thoughts I would think of The moment but you always have to be prepared for the pros and cons. These two books have definitely made me think of my relationships with others and mainly with myself.
1. Thursday was a pretty rough day. I started work at the normal time 4:30 am, when I woke up I was not feeling to good, something felt off. I still went to work, but while I was at work I started to get chills and would get really hot right after, it also became hard to stand and walk. For most of my shift I ignored it and tried to work through it. When I goy home it had become painful to breathe, that is when I decided to go to the hospital. Going through that on Thursday made me realize I ignore and neglect my body and what it tells me. Honestly, improvement can be made in my life and throughout my day to day life as well. To do this I have to make some personal changes I am not ready to work through yet.
2.David Sedaris has some similarities to Samantha Irby. They both use humor to help cope and write about their lie, and help write about struggles they went through. Sedaris refers to his speech therapist as an agent (like a spy agent).
3. I was able to relate to Sedaris’ first essay because when I was younger I had to go to a therapy that I felt ashamed of for going. I would quietly tell the teacher when I had to leave, I would make sure no one was ‘following’ me to my appointments. I don’t know what exactly set this shame in place, but I think their were a few reasons. First, no one really ever talked about it in a way where I felt safe or heard, it was more of like these programs are here, we set it up and told you to make us look good. Feeling that these programs were only implemented to make them look good, it made me feel like there was no real reason to get the support I needed. Second, every time I would have an appointment there would never be any other students, and I felt like I never saw anyone leave or enter. Due to this I felt like I was the only one going through it, and why would I want to express and tell everyone another reason why I am ‘weird’ or ‘not normal’.
4. Honestly, I have no idea what I would write about. Personally I feel like all my stories are boring and worthless and does not need to be written about. I have a few that pop into my head, but they all seem to dark and sad. I can not really remember a happy story in my life, on the other hand all the other stories are to personal and deep. One possible thing I could write about are the times I traveled to Texas, or the East coast or something.
5. Something you can learn about telling a story from one’s one life is that being honest about yourself or life, does not always have to be hard hitting and deep, you can lighten it up wit comedic comments. Someone would want to write about themselves because it is a way for them to accept what they went through or help them have closure. Another reason someone may write about themselves is to put their story out there for someone else to read and not feel alone. Someone may not want to write about themselves because that means they are admitting the truth that they are not ready to be open about.
1. My day was overall really good actually. I got a lot done today and finished a huge passion project I have been working on for a while now so I am feeling quite relieved.
2. My initial thought about Sedaris was that he is very observational of the world around him. He is indeed a very funny guy and it makes reading his book a lot easier, similar to how Irby wrote hers. Because of the way Sedaris writes, I find myself engaging in the things he has to say more due to his quirky way of telling us his day to day observations. For example, when he became a teacher he told us so much about the class in a fun way and it felt like I was actually there watching all of this unfold. Due to how observant he is, I feel very connected to him.
3. An essay that really stands out and speaks to me would be 12 moments in the life of an artist. Reading this essay I got to learn so much more about Sedaris and who the person he actually is during these moments in his life. From the way he sees the world around him in that artistic way, to the relationship with his parents, the whole chapter was a gold mine of information and backstory. Like I said previously, I relate to him in the way that he is observant of the world around him. The way an artist, or similarly even a philosopher, sees the world is so fascinating to me in the sense that it’s like watching a whole different world than what normal non-creative people see. Everything around an artist feels so in-depth and with this chapter we get all of that.
4. One life story I want to write about would be my journey in realizing my passion which is filmmaking and just how much work everything within filmmaking takes. The impact films have on our everyday lives in pretty incredible to think about and the journey is a pretty interesting story to me with a lot of bumps in it so I’m actually pretty excited to write about this.
5. I feel like writing about yourself could be difficult in opening up to strangers. Imagine pouring out everything you want to share infront of millions of random people and the good or back impact that can come from that. After reading Irby’s book and almost half of Sedaris’, I realize that these writers are putting a lot on the line to open up to us and realizing that, I respect them a lot. Also just being honest with yourself in “this is who I am” and no one is really going to change that now. This idea was really apparent in “We are never meeting in real life” and I have realized it a little in “Me talk pretty one day” but mostly in Irby’s. So for these reasons out of many, self writing is possibly one of the most difficult writing formats.
My day was fine, I learned that I need to deliver my words better. I was asked to do something that I didn’t want to do and I answered “I rather not.” I then had to do the task and I was told if I said “Yes, if you need me to” I wouldn’t have had to do the task. Sedaris is an interesting figure because his confidence and courage are sometimes in full force and sometimes not there at all. I can relate to the essay “Giant dreams, Midget abilities” because I have been in a similar situation. I would write about many experiences focusing on the comical stories in my life. In my opinion writing a story about yourself is either the easiest story to write or the hardest story to write. You could tell a story that you want to tell which is easy to write or you could tell a story that you don’t want to tell but is important to tell which is hard to write.
Today was a somewhat normal day. And what I learned from myself was that I need to get enough sleep to function right and at 100%. When I sleep late it’s mostly because I don’t get off my phone. I need to get better at going to sleep at my bedtime so I can fully recover during the night and am not a zombie in the morning. I also want to go back to going to the gym right after work, it makes my day better and just gets it out of the way faster. David is a weird dude in my opinion, I’m not the biggest fan of his. He isn’t really funny to me and his life just seems bad. The part I have mostly enjoyed was his just talking about about his coke addiction and supplier. I do feel bad for the guy because he has a bad stutter and isn’t able to be himself around people. I believe he is sad inside because he isn’t okay with himself without his coke. When his dealer moves he doesn’t know what to do and is just felt begging for the dealer to stay. He also is made fun of his art by his own dad. The essay that relates to me the most is Go Carolina. I had a reading problems. I had a really low Lexile and I couldn’t read a sentence without sounding dumb or slow. I would go to reading classes just for kids who struggled and it wasn’t fun because all the kids knew where I was going to. When it was time to read out loud I would hate it, I would read and hurry other kids giggling at me. I too suffered with David but not on the same level. The story I would write about in my life would either be living in the pandemic or my house burning down. My house burnt down when I was in my freshmen year of high school. Many would say that is the transitioning year which was very difficult for me. I would go into how that affected my family and I and how its affected me for the rest of my life. I’ve learn from Sadrias and Irby that writing about one’s life can get boring unless you have a crazy life like Mike Tyson. You must be able to connected with your reader on different level. That could be something in common, humor, or instances in your life. It is hard to keep someone engaged about you because you must attract the reader to want more from you. I think it is also hard to mention instances in your life that weren’t the best or you are embarrassed to talk about. But those are the best things to mention in these essays.
Today was a pretty normal day for me, but through my meeting with my counselor I found that I have a tendency to go with the easiest path possible and have problems with choosing what I want, having others do it for me. David is a relatable guy in my opinion, given how his childhood and mine were pretty similar all things considered. His dad wanting for him to be musically inclined was like what my dad did with sports, making me do them despite how I never showed any interest in them. I relate the most to sedaris’s first essay because I was also super embarrassed to go to therapy, and usually didn’t want to go despite my extreme need to feel normal, and due to my lisp that I had as a kid, which caused my parents to send me to speech therapy. If I had to write a story from my own life I would probably want to write about how I met my current friend group my freshmen year of High School, which would read more like a series of stories as it took a few weeks to get actually meet all of them.
1. So far my day has been alright with nothing crazy happening so far besides me doing my normal routine for the day. However last Thursday I found out one of my cousins died in a motorcycle accident this really hurt me since I was especially close to this cousin and I last saw him just about a month ago. I personally don’t know what this has taught me besides some general despair and sadness. 2. I find David Sedaris to have a very unique grasp on his writing styles since he tends to put in small details to try and grasp our attention such as some self-deprecating humor and he as a person tends to be very laid-back which is why I can see myself in him. 3. While I know everyone has talked about this chapter I would still like to give my two cents on 12 moments in the life of an artist. This chapter was really compelling from the in-depth backstory to really show off the culture of drug abuse it was by far my favorite due to me having a history of being around people in the same culture. 4. One story I could really go in-depth about would be that of the journey to visit my dad’s hometown in Mexico since there were a lot of good and bad experiences during my time there that I will most likely remember for the rest of my life. 5. Personally I feel that really writing about your stories or just simply going over some stories from one’s own life can help you reimagine some parts of yourself and to be fair I feel that it is almost like getting something off your back or the same relieving feeling.
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1. My day was okay. I’ve been really tired recently so it’s been hard to really get to schoolwork. I feel that I’ve been procrastinating a lot and a little stressed out but I’m getting to all the work slowly but surely so it’s going okay. Work has been nice so far, some gross stuff but that comes with the job.
2. So far from what I’ve read of David Sedaris’ book I really liked it. I feel that there’s a lot of similarities between him and Irby although he is a much more elevated way of making jokes. He still writes it in such a naturalistic way that it doesn’t seem that forced similar to Irby does.The stories he writes are very much like hers where they’re sort of his life situations.
3. I think with the first couple of chapters his situations in life that reflect his sexuality is very relatable to someone who is also in the same boat where their sexuality is assumed. it makes things like his music teacher very uncomfortable cuz he doesn’t relate to that same sort of Attraction and so by including that experience he’s able to pick up people who have had those same experiences. where they’ve been made to feel uncomfortable because their sexuality was already assumed and their attraction didn’t meet the expectations of a person that they’ve met or whatever.
4. In terms of writing about a story for my life I feel that I haven’t lived long enough to really have anything interesting to write about. I guess the most fun things right about would be my trip to Italy that I went on when I was 16. I have family that lives there so it wasn’t all that expensive for me as it was only the flight that we had to pay for. It was fun being there as I felt that I could be a lot more confident and I felt that I was able to sort of free myself from some of the more mental health issues that I had been dealing with.
5. I think by writing about themselves they show case Human Experience and connection despite them being stories that are not as relatable they have underline things that are relatable and that people can find themselves in. by writing about yourself you’re able to connect people and really make meaning out of a story that you have to tell.