Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts


Creative Writing


Sylvia Aguilar


As a writer and individual, I speak between many roles, presenting myself as “I” but also “her”. Inevitably, there is a gap between “who I am” and “who I am made out to be” that I am not always in control of. Similarly, there is a disparity in intention versus interpretation in writing. Since we don’t exist in a vacuum, I must account for these gaps, acknowledging my individuality while adapting to changing circumstances and needs. As an individual with several disadvantages and particularities, however, my sense of self is unstable and uncertain, reflecting the instability and uncertainty in my life. Unable to neither defend myself nor depend on someone, I take on the persona of an ‘outsider’, construing my character based on “who I am not” and “who I cannot be”. I recognize my alienation and its negative effects on me, working backward to understand myself through writing. Accordingly, I converge three narrative lines—the concept of identity, the concept of story, and the concept of sensemaking—labeling the three sections of my project following these concepts. I provide important yet traumatic accounts of my life, identifying the root of my alienation and finding similarities in how I rationalize my life and my writing. Additionally, I explore three major theories—identity, the life story, and psychological and construal-level—to support the process of acquiring and grounding individuality and ownership of voice. I finalize my project with a writing method based on the final theory to facilitate and argue for individuality and voice in writing, claiming that writing and the self are inseparable because the writer composes through experience, as witnessed throughout my project.




Received from ProQuest

File Size

132 p.

File Format


Rights Holder

Stephanie Lamas