WP4: Putting It Down on Paper

Shefali Murti
Writing 150 Fall 2020
5 min readNov 21, 2020

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My main struggle with writing always came from the fact that I was stuck in my head — even if I knew the premise of what I wanted to write, I simple couldn’t get my jumbled thoughts down on paper and suddenly form it into an essay. This also translated to my hesitation to ever participate in classes; I was never confident enough to share my ideas, and even if I did have an idea, I didn’t know how to word it correctly enough to say it aloud. The concept of idea-driven work that was engrained into my mind in this class rectified this very issue. This class forced me to articulate my thoughts in a simultaneously academic and personal way, and in doing so I learned a lot about what I am passionate about, and proved to myself that I do have something to say.

As someone who enjoys creativity but also is indecisive and needs structure, the entirely open-ended prompts we had all semester both scared and excited me. I liked the idea of being able to write about what I wanted in whatever way I wanted to, but I didn’t first enjoy taking this into action, because I had no idea what that would entail. I’ve always said that I have no idea what my true passions are or what I want my future to look like. So, in a class all about intellectual identity, how was I supposed to write anything about intellectual identity when I don’t even think I know who I am or who I want to be?

The readings we were assigned and discussed in class were so valuable in defining and redefining my intellectual, educational, and writing paths. Vershawn Ashanti Young’s “Should Writers Use They Own English” explained how it doesn’t make sense to have a limiting standard of English, because all writing comes from each and every person’s individual mindset and experiences. This reinforced the value in the structure of our class in regards to having open-ended prompts and little-to-no guidelines, making me realize that my best writing will be grounded in my personal voice and experiences. Freire’s issues with the “banking model” of society’s educational system in Pedagogy of the Oppressed served as a way for me to rethink my perception of these past experiences that I was about to be writing about, specifically regarding my education. Applying Freire’s theories to my experience of having a private, all-girls education gave me new perspectives into the strengths and weakness in my educational upbringing that have made me the person I am today. The combination of knowing I need to take inspiration and voice from myself and realizing new issues and/or benefits of these experiences gave me all the more content to write about when it came time to tentatively approach each project.

Whenever I would come to a workshop or meeting wholly confused and lost, you (Professor Dissinger) would simply say to just go with my “gut” and write down my thoughts. This simple advice made all the difference whenever I approached each assignment every single time. I found that whenever I went with my “gut”, rather than choosing to write about something “easier” or what seemed “more fitting”, I always produced my best work. And though I said just before that I had no idea what my passions or goals are, my projects in this WRIT150 class say otherwise; I come across as someone who must have a very clear understanding of my passions and goals, because almost all of my writing pieces are under this same general bubble of “media”.

The way that this class made me self-realize my passion within the media field should not come as a surprise to myself. My extracurriculars in high school consisted of journalism, photography, and film…and I am a freshman in USC’s Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism right now! It took genuine writing, articulating my thoughts, in order to come to terms with this realization. The more I found myself writing about topics in media, the more I would be entranced in the writing process. For example, WP2 was the project I not only enjoyed the most, but reflected the most growth and potential of my writing in this class. Being able to analyze Disney movies didn’t remotely feel like work, and the subsequent writing I did connecting these objective notes to their subjective impact on my life felt so natural. Being able to feel the passion, joy, and importance (both personally and generally) of what I was writing made my writing so much better. I truly wished that I had all the time in the world to expand this project even further, to look at more movies and understand there problematic viewpoints that impact me personally and others globally.

WP2 served as a kickoff point to WP3, where I discovered a purpose on top of a passion in the media field. Again, I didn’t even realize how much I had to say about the topic, about what it should mean to be a media creator, until I started writing. And when I did, I never wanted to stop. My writing in WP3 was the most valuable writing I felt I did all semester. It showed a clear future goal in WHAT I want to change in the media industry, WHY I want to do it, and HOW I can begin to go about that process. The piece reflected such confidence in having a purposeful future career — something I’ve never done before. I have a motivation more than ever before to truly work towards this vision I’ve outlined for myself, part of which includes my plan to declare a minor in the Cinematic Arts school called “Media and Social Change” next semester.

My journey of writing throughout this class taught me so much more than I ever thought possible. I can no longer write anything for any class without thinking about if what I’m writing is giving a HOW/WHAT/WHY/BECAUSE, and I couldn’t be more thankful for it. Learning how to purposefully and valuably put my idea’s down on paper has made me a better student and has directly allowed me to name my intellectual motivations, identities, and goals, which is essential as I progress throughout the rest of my college years and my life.

Works Cited

Freire, Paulo. Pedagogy of the Oppressed. New York: Continuum, 2000.

Murti, Shefali. “‘____ Ever After.’” Medium, 2020, medium.com/wp2-ever-after.

Murti, Shefali. “WP3: What Does and Should It Mean to Be a Media Creator?’” Medium, 2020, medium.com/writing-150-fall-2020/what-does-and-should-it-mean-to-be-a-media-creator-49d1c521c7c3.

Young, Vershawn Ashanti. “Should Writers Use They Own English?” Iowa Research Online, ir.uiowa.edu/ijcs/vol12/iss1/10/.

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