Summary of “Becoming a Writer” by, Russell Baker First off I would like to briefly talk about the author of, “Becoming a Writer”, then I will move on to talk about the essay. Russell Wayne Baker (born August 14, 1925) was born in Virginia and was the oldest of three children. When he was only five years old his father died of diabetes. Because of this and the great depression it brought about really hard times for his family. He eventually ended up attending John Hopkins University in 1947, were he received his Bachelors from the School of Arts and Science.
He is a two time Pulitzer prize winner, and he is most known for he autobiography, “Growing Up”. After reading the essay I thought it was very inspirational to me as an amateur writer. I think his purpose in writing this essay was to convey a story about the experience that lead him to becoming a writer. I think a essay like this would definitely reach out to a audience of potential writers as a motivator to pursue a writing career. The tone of the essay definitely leans toward informative and inspirational as does the genre of the essay.
I think his most important point he is trying to get across to his audience is for him nothing else really matters, and if you want to become a writer you shouldn't let anything stop you. It starts out by talking about how at first in his early years he thought that writing was only something rich people did. That it was not a real job at all, but it was the only thing that actually interested him on any level at all. He then states how that initially he thought English was quite a dull subject. Then he goes on to talk about a experience with his eleventh grade English teacher that would change his life forever.
His eleventh grade English teacher Mr. Fleagle was known for being a dull teacher so he already had no interests once again in his English class. At first his predictions for the class for the most part came true. It was not until they where assigned an informal essay assignment that everything would start to change. He then goes on to talk about how the title of the assignment brought about memories from his past sitting at a table eating spaghetti. After he briefly talks about his memories realizes that he wants to write about them.
Not just because he has been assigned to, but he actually wants to. He realized at that moment that he wanted to write, but he thought with the way he wanted to write it he would surely get a failing grade. He goes on to say that even though he thought he was going to get a failing grade Even with this thought he wrote it anyways. Then he goes on to write about how Mr. Fleagle was so impressed she had him read it out loud to the entire class. He proceeds to tell that how in that moment he new what his calling was.
In closing I would like to state that I actually enjoyed his essay. After reading over some of the other ones I new without a doubt I was going to pick this one. It is a very motivational story of how he became a writer. Just by reading it you can tell how much writing means to him. When reading it you can really feel the excitement about this story and how much meaning it holds with him. After reading this short essay and doing some brief research about him for the purpose of this assignment I have to say I will most likely look into some more of his work.