Creative Writing Personal Statement
To me, fiction is like the magic carpet of Aladdin. It takes me to travel through time and space and explore the slices of human experience. In the wonderful trips, I am guided by the author and accompanied by the characters. As I immerse myself in the life of the protagonists, I also get the chance to ponder over important issues in my own life. I am always eager to know what would the characters do in the face of a certain event and what are the results of their reactions. Although I cannot speak to the characters directly, I would always think about why the characters choose to do this rather than that. Is it because of their personalities, their family or the social background? I would also think about what should I do if I meet the similar situation in life. In this way, fiction helps people to gain wisdom; thereby it has won a place among the most significant art forms in the human society. This is also the reason why I have determined to dedicate my life to providing spiritual guidance and entertainment alike as a fiction writer.
Although I have been an avid reader since childhood, it was not until I took the creative writing courses in the U.S.A that I finally decided to make fiction writing as my life-long career. In the third year of college, I went to the United States as an exchange student and the creative writing courses there struck me as amazing. Each course was finely structured with lectures and workshops in light with different themes, such as characterisation, point of view, style, voice, etc. In weekly seminars we discussed our reading assignments (usually writings by reputable authors) about things we could draw on in our own writing and the confusion we had in the reading process, while in workshops we talked about strengths and weaknesses of each other's writings and we made suggestions for revision on a friendly and cogent basis. In addition there were a whole abundance of resources such as books about fiction writing and free on-line workshops available to students.
In high school, my fantasy for college life used to be about the same with this. However, when I went to B University, one of the top universities in China, to get my bachelor's degree, I was quite disappointed. There was only one writing course throughout the four years and I did not feel motivated taking it. During the course, we were given lectures on essay writing, prose appreciation and we were even shown an excellent movie near the end of the semester, but we never got much practice on writing. The only written work we did for the course was assigned in the middle of the semester. It accounted for 30% of our total grade since we did not have a mid-term exam. We were told to write an article in two weeks with no restrictions on either the contents or the number of words. I submitted a short story and was praised and asked to read aloud in front of the whole class. Unfortunately, the other 70% of our grade depended on the final exam, where we were told to do the exact same thing with what we did for the mid-term writing assignment, the only difference was this time we had to do it within 110 minutes. I ended up by coming up with the first half of a short story and got only 68 out of 100 for the total score. I fell into frustration but later it was replaced by disorientation when I found there was neither major nor minor about writing creatively in Chinese universities, not even in the best institutions such as Peking and Tsinghua University. Although I could often feel my tendency to work for publishing and the media as a writer, I had no clues about exactly how. In China, not many writers undertook writing seriously for the sake of literature. Best-selling fiction books were often composed by amateur writers and were of limited literary value. Therefore, the creative writing courses in America had shown me an effective pathway to make more accomplishments in this field and I eventually made up my mind to become a fiction writer, one could produce high-quality stories that offer leisure as well as enlightenment to the readers.
In America, for the first time I was introduced to a string of short stories written by prominent authors, such as Raymond Carver, Flannery O'connor, Joyce Carol Oates and Tim O'brien. In my spare time I also read Earnest Hemingway and Theodore Dreiser. I found myself fascinated by the world and the characters they created in the stories and I began to realise that I was trying to bond with English, another beautiful language despite my mother tongue Chinese, which I usually took pride in. The idea of furthering my education in Britain gradually emerged in my mind. First of all , Britain is the place where English-speaking culture originated. Secondly, the U.K is part of Europe, which is the hometown of my favourite authors, including Balzac, Chekhov, William Makepeace Thackeray and Jane Austin. It would be so exciting just to think that I may have the chance to study in the culture they had grown up and established their careers. Last but not least, similar to the U.S, fiction writing in the U.K is also prosperous with distinguished writing programmes running at institutions. Among those, the MA Writing Programme at W University is the one that I want to join most. In spite of the well-organized courses instructed by an outstanding staff, there are also a series of stimulating activities and events taking place regularly on campus. I like the Writer's Room in particular. For me it is always pleasant to concentrate on writing whole-heartedly and the opportunity of doing this with someone sharing similar interests and goals in a place specially built for the promoting of it makes this a fantastic experience. Meanwhile, in my observation, writers tend to be introvert and sensitive. They may have a colourful world inside but many of them are not good at expressing it in speeches. The Writer's lunch provides a chance that the writers can meet casually and communicate with each other. Finally, the broad range of publishing houses, literary journals and organizations that keep links with Warwick University allow the students to know more about the industry and thus increase their competence in employment upon graduation.
All of the above makes W my first choice in application for MA degrees and I believe my background also makes me a good choice for the MA Writing Programme at W. To begin with, I have a strong ambition to become an eminent fiction writer and I wish to work through any hardship to achieve my goals. Moreover, I have a miscellany of work experiences as an editor, writer and volunteer. Some of the experiences are international, which enables me to provide a multi-cultural perspective to the programme. Out of class, I am a keen reader and an industrious writer. I always bring my note book with me wherever I go so that I can write immediately when inspiration drops by. Furthermore, I have a wide interest in creative things, for example, dancing, painting and photography. I have sought professional training for each so that I could deepen my understanding of them and eventually develop them into my hobbies.
My creative writing professor used to ask me, "Do you ultimately want to write in Chinese or in English?" I said "Chinese", because I wanted to create more valuable stories for my motherland, where fiction has been despised and suppressed for centuries. But now I would say I will ultimately write in both languages, for I want to portray the life of my people in this special and meaningful period of time as the country marches on the way towards the next "super power" and I want to display its people's life to the world.
Where there is a will, there is a way. Now I am ready to pay my effort and I am confident that I will be a prominent fiction writer someday, but before that I still need to develop myself in many aspects, and I hope I could develop myself at W University.
This personal statement was written by Jing for application in 2012.
Jing's university choices
The University of Durham
University College London
University of Exeter
The University of Edinburgh
University of Glasgow
Green: offer made
Red: no offer made
I'm a Chinese student interested in fiction writing.
It took me around two weeks to finish this personal statement. I will share the process with you guys here.
First I browsed I lot of websites for help and this website and WWW.about.com helped me a lot. I spent 10 days on this before I started writing.
Then I listed several key questions on a piece of paper and wrote the answers out.
After that, I read the questions and answers to my Mom, who is a doctor with no special editorial background.
She said, "A lot of it is bullshit.You have to rewrite it."
Finally I embarked on writing and it took me two days to finish the first draft and another day to revise.
Now my Mom is happy with this draft.
And I'm glad to hear your comments.
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