1. What are your earliest memories related to writing?
My earliest memory of writing goes back to 2005 when I was in 8th grade. I was preparing the admission exam for foreign high school. To apply, I needed an iBT score as a qualification. iBT had four parts – listening, reading, writing, and speaking. So, I started to learn how to write 5-paragraph essay. I learned how to how to organize the ideas and details and how to structure. That was the first time I started to learn academic essays, and I'm still applying some of the lessons that I learned in that period.
2. How do you feel about writing in your first language compared to writing in English?
For me, writing in Korean and English is both very challenging tasks. I have mixed feelings about writing in Korean because advantages and disadvantages co-exist. When writing in Korean, some parts of writing become much easier for me. First, conveying my ideas becomes easier. When writing in English, I have to look up the right words and come up with sentence structures to fully express my ideas, which is sometimes sophisticated for me. However, in Korean, those processes take shorter time for me due to Korean is my mother tongue. For example, choosing proper vocabulary is much easier because I can understand the different nuance of various words much better than English words. So, it seems like my burden decreases.
However, when it comes to Korean writing, everyone's expectations toward my writing become higher, including myself. Everyone expects me to produce a higher quality piece of writing compared to that of English. Therefore, it requires me more time to consider, write and revise when I write in Korean. This burdens me although I'm writing in Korean. So in the end, it all comes back to start; Writing is difficult in any languages.
3. Have you ever done any writing for yourself only – letters to friends or relatives, journals, diaries, poems? If so, explain how this writing was different from the writing you did for school assignments?
These days, I have a lot of chances to write letters to my friends who are serving at the army right now. Basically, it is equally difficult to choose what to write and how to structure it. However, I feel like I can write in much more casual manner when I'm writing letters. Often, when I'm writing letters, I suddenly realize that I'm following my stream of consciousness although I once organized what and how to write. Also, there's no need to write in formal manners unlike academic writings. Therefore, I can use new words, abbreviations. Also, it doesn't have to be perfect in grammars or structures.