The controlling idea of my Literacy Narrative is my process in overcoming a crucial oversight as a reader and writer: the inability to think critically and analytically about writing. Through writing my Literacy Narrative, I actually saw the way I have improved as a writer, and the main thing I learned from this is that the relationship between learning/improving as a reader and writer and time is far from linear. Although from elementary to middle school my vocabulary expanded, my sentence structures became more sophisticated, and my ability to elaborate on some complex ideas improved, my analysis might have actually gotten worse. Conversely, when I actually did find ways to improve my analysis, my ability to explain complex points wasn’t fully up to par. I think the most important thing here is that I keep trying: this will keep me mindful of both strengths and weaknesses.
I enjoyed doing the pre-writing exercises; I haven’t really done free-writing in a long time. Free-writing kind of showed me that this problem I had to overcome was the defining aspect of me as a reader and writer. The main thing I learned about myself, though, is that habits control much of the processed behind my reading and writing. Doing a few small key things, such as dedicating time to think about a particular passage or jotting down some notes, can be hugely helpful. Finally, I think the sentence people might find the most interesting is this: “After I wrote the rough draft, it continued to degrade with each coming day; my daily tinkering, a result of weak analysis desperately trying to find something to hang onto, led to a thesis that was long, complex, and almost impossible to argue” (2). Typically, the wisdom goes that the more time you spend on an essay, the better it will be, but I think people might find that sentence interesting since it suggests something of an inverted-U curve, that at a certain point, i’ve written the best essay I can, and apart from trivial grammar fixes, changing any more of the thesis, evidence, or reasoning in the essay will actually make it worse.