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English 2280

Professor Baird,

For my signature assignment, I chose a personal flash essay about finding emotional validation in unexpected places, in this case a waterfall. I chose this piece because it was already well-developed but still needed some polishing. I entered this piece in a writing competition a few months ago. It was not a finalist, but I feel like it still has a lot of potential. I decided to revise it for this assignment with the hopes that I will submit it for publication again.

My favorite part of this piece is the metaphor of the waterfall as emotional turmoil. I think the description of the waterfall is a strong comparison for how our inner world can feel after a devastating crisis or trauma. I naturally find my experiences and emotion reflected in nature, which I have always found interesting because nature doesn’t offer words. Instead, it offers imagery, movement, color, and texture, yet I think these tangible representations solidify the intangible feelings that exist inside of us. Somehow the concrete objects in nature make the abstract feelings seem real.

Through this class, I learned two important concepts regarding my writing. The first concept is it is essential to write often. For me, one of the biggest hurdles to writing is just getting started. I feel like I can stare at a computer screen for hours before I put anything down on the page. I tend to edit and censor a lot in my mind, which I think makes free writing very challenging for me. As part of developing my writing practice, I have worked towards daily uncensored writing, and I find that the more I practice the easier it becomes. I don’t always like what comes out initially on the page, but that brings me to the second concept I learned as part of this class. That concept is that the best writing is rewriting. I am learning to value, and even look forward to, the revision process. I think this is where some of my best writing happens, and while feedback can at times be difficult to process, in the end, more often than not, it improves my writing. Overall, this class has helped me become more comfortable with my own writing process, while also giving me opportunities to try writing forms I might not have picked on my own.

This semester, I have grown as a writer, improving and expanding my writing process and forms of writing. I am very pleased with my signature piece. It is reflective of my growth and my style as a writer.


Sara Aird

Creative Nonfiction: Text
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