BA: Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies


“I write entirely to find out what I'm thinking, what I'm looking at, what I see and what it means.”

—Joan Didion, "Why I Write" (1976)

Writing is magic.

Don’t believe me?  Consider this: through the use of gestures and symbols imbued with meaning, I’m sending my thoughts directly into your mind.  You’re thinking in ways you wouldn’t have otherwise, and are being subtly changed as a result.  I’ve exerted my disciplined will and changed reality, both yours and mine... and what is that, if not magic?

The magic of words is a central element, not only of my personal life, but my professional and academic lives as well.  I’ve been a copy editor for a publishing house, a technical writer for a software company, a content and layout editor for a vocational conference, and a copywriter and graphic designer for indie rock bands.  As a major in the Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies program, I write a variety of papers and presentations, and in my personal life I write fiction, poetry, essays, songs, liturgies, letters, blog posts, shopping lists, and limericks.

The thing is, none of this is remarkable.  We all do it.  Everyday, each of us spins out our narratives, weaving perception, nuance and memory together to construct meaning.  We make sense of our lives by sharing them with others, and we create the meaning in our lives by telling our stories, to others and to ourselves. Writing is a way of making those narratives concrete, rendering our experiences, ideas, and emotions into a form that others can experience, imagine, and feel.  I’m goal-focused in my writing, even when the goal is only to amuse myself, and I love the moment when the words I’ve been pushing around the page fall into line and make the ideas in my head a reality.

Writing is magic—quotidian, unremarkable, and utterly extraordinary—and with practice, we can work wonders.   We can change minds, hearts, and the very world around us.  We can bring our dreams into being.  Moreover, we can bring ourselves into being, and in doing so, give others the inspiration to do the same.

Writing is magic, and we’re all magicians. What kind of magician you are is, of course, entirely up to you... so write with care.  Your words change the world.

And if you’d like a hand getting your magic words in line, I’d be delighted to work with you.

Pronouns: they/them/their

Did You Know?

Nine out of 10 of UW Bothell's 20,000 alumni live and work in the state of Washington.