A Beautiful Mess


To me, the word “essay” is the one word I’ve despised the most in the world of English and other subjects that required such a task. Every time I hear it, see it or even know that it’s part of my vocabulary, my inner soul and mind revolts it so much. I think of that structured, 5 paragraph nonsense, and that requires a lot of thinking. It’s not that typical free thinking task where our ideas are free and roam around as they please, but it’s so contained, limited and just forced structured. It hinders my brain from inputting ideas that sound so good, much better, and more scholarly.

But what I did not expect at all was that anything could be an essay. Anything. Despite messy thoughts rushing in and out of our heads, once they are all written down on a piece of lined paper, it’s an essay. It doesn’t have to be a five paragraph mumbo jumbo. 


It’s all about looking at the essay on a different perspective. I personally love to write freely that my thoughts are able to be laid down on the paper, and spread out messily across like freshly picked up dirt and leaves on the concrete ground. And I look at it from above and try to see if I can actually try to include all of them in a more structured manner of my own kind of writing. My own pattern formed because these are all great ideas. It’s just that I have to organize them, strewn them together, and form this beautiful paper that all came from my messy thoughts.

No idea is a bad idea. No thought is a bad thought. It’s all about freely expressing ourselves and going with what we can do on our own rather than being guided with this gridded structure that we’re so used to following. “Writing is the thinking”. I’m not supposed to think about how to lay out my ideas that will fit the “norm criteria” within the five paragraph structure. I do all the thinking while organizing this scattered dirt and leaves with connections of twigs and wood chips in order to guide my reader throughout my essay.

It’s all about forming something messy and being able to create from it a beautifully structured essay of our own, with which we emit loudly our voices from each word written. I just wished I didn’t have to find out about how to write an essay at this grade. Daniel Coffeen’s Essay has changed my way of thinking about writing essays.  Now I’ll continue to enjoy writing it and hopefully adjust to practicing more of it towards the future.

So I sit down to write. My writing, in this case, is not simply an expression of my thoughts. Rather, the writing is the thinking.  As I string words, sentences, paragraphs together I am forced to find connections — causal, affective, complementary — between and amongst my otherwise scattered thoughts.

-Daniel Coffeen’s Essay



One thought on “A Beautiful Mess

  1. Hi, great article. I accidentally stumbled on this post and immediately thought of this quote that I look at any time before I start writing. Here it is: “Writing has laws of perspective, of light and shade just as painting does, or music. If you are born knowing them, fine. If not, learn them. Then rearrange the rules to suit yourself.” I think it speaks volumes about the underlying dynamics of writing.


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