Before we covered them in class, I had never heard of creative essays. To me it didn’t make any sense. It felt like you were just writing a story with a self insert. Between the assigned reading and class discussions, I discovered there was a bit more to it than that.
Creative essays seem to take what makes poetry and fiction unique and combines it into one. It takes the story element of fiction, but also adds to it an observation of the world as the writer sees it like you would find in poetry. It feels like an academic paper, trying to explain some topic, following proper writing structures, as opposed to poetry where rules seem arbitrary. However, instead of referencing articles to make a point, the writer is referencing their life.
What I enjoyed about the creative essay is it can explain a point of view you hold or a perception on something and explain it better than just outright saying what your opinion is. For instance, in the essay Lenses, Annie Dillard could have said she viewed life as fleeting and we were really small in the grand scheme of things. Instead, there was a lead in with her growing up in her basement watching microorganisms dance under a too hot light under her microscope. Then years later get the same feeling as she watched two swans fly, only this time she was the one in the spot light. It created feelings of wonder while at the same time caused the reader to think about it from her point of view. The set up both explained her line of thinking as well as her perception.
I enjoyed this genre more than I thought. I hated poetry, but I’m not a poet. I enjoyed the fiction section, because I enjoy writing fiction. This genre really surprised me and what I liked most was how I could take what I loved about fiction, but add it to my experience.
For my creative essay I chose to write about rings. Initially it was going to keep it broad, but when I write I like to see where it goes. I ended up writing about my father’s ring. It never was something I paid attention to as a kid, and even now, it’s not even the first thing I think of when I think of him. Not even top 5. Usually it’ll be him in a suit, or Michigan football (we would go to every home game). Despite that, it is what I most closely associate with him now because of 2 memories that have forever crystallized in my mind. What I tried to convey was how while my wedding band means a lot to me, it’s not a big deal if I need to replace it because the most important part of what it symbolizes (my husband) is still around. However my father’s ring is irreplaceable to me since it’s all I have left of him
Overall, I greatly enjoyed the chance to try something new.