Mrs. Suzanne Ashe
9 February 2015
In Stephen King's essay "Write or Die", he tells the story of his adolescence and how he got picked up by the local high school newspaper because he liked to write so much in class even though his writing in class would sometimes take away from the attention from the teacher. This soon became a problem in class and was noticed by the teacher and counselor of the school who soon gave him a job in the local school newspaper due to his “restless pen”. The author explores his meaning in life by relating his adolescent experience where he learns a conflicting message about good writing and in the process attains his voice and his freedom.
The first thing he learns from his newspaper job, which is also his first paying job, is that he must write in his own perspective and learn how to write from within for himself; while also learning how to get what the story is and get it right. The principal, who also happens to be the editor of King's article, tells him that the skill of getting the right story could be learned with effort. He then informs him of, “writing with the door closed", which includes getting all the details of the story in their entirety first. He then learns that once the story is written, anyone can read it or criticize it. On the flip side, “writing with the door open" explains the editing and rewriting process. The "open door" process pertains to meeting the reading needs of the reader and presenting an article that people want to read. It did not take long for King to increase his interest in writing, while also finding his identity and future job at the same time. The author uses informal language in his essay to explain what he was most likely really thinking at the time, and makes his story relatable in the sense that when he explain himself as getting in trouble it felt like an experience that could happen to anybody. For the most part it was relatable because I’m sure most everyone has taken an unpleasant trip to the principal’s office in elementary school.
As for me, at an adolescent age I found myself getting into trouble a lot, so I had an idea of what the author was going through. When I was in elementary school, I too had a restless pen, and found it hard to concentrate in class. I had academic and behavioral problems with school and teachers, all the way up until high school. I was then introduced to high school sports which made me clean up my act a little bit. My parents thought it would teach me discipline and responsibility to put me in sports in high school. I had never done any type of sport before high school, so I was skeptical about this decision, to join the football team with no experience at all compared to all the other players on the team.
Knowing me this was a big turnaround from where I used to be as a kid and growing up as sort of a “bad kid”. In the beginning, I hated football; I hated getting hit every day; I hated not knowing any of the plays, and I hated not being good at the sport that I was given to play. After football season was over, my parents decided to put me in track, to alleviate some of the mostly emotional pain from football. While doing track did make me feel a little better emotionally, I was still a flake at sports in high school.
So, then, my first year of high school sports was over; I hadn't found any belonging or sense of placement in doing the sports that my parents required me to do. I told them I never wanted to do football or track again, and that it was a waste of my time since I was not good at all. They then told me, “You don't get any better unless you practice, Tyler.” and once they told me that, it really sunk in deep and made me want to go harder for the next year.
My second year of high school sports, was still bad, despite of what my parents told me. Although it was not as bad as my first year and it was an improvement, I still could not take up a liking to