King’s discovery of the limits of his earlier tenets caused a change in tone from hopeful patience in 1958 to frustration in 1968. In 1958, for instance, King urged his followers to love for “the need of the other person” and “expect no good in return, only hostility and persecution.” But King’s later writings became more aggravated. In 1968, in his “Showdown for Nonviolence,” King reflected on his “bitter experience” even though he had cautioned his early followers against “succumb[ing] to the temptation of becoming bitter.” In this article, King delivered a no-holds-barred account of the disappointments that marked the civil rights struggle for African Americans. He lamented the United States’ “tragic mix-up in priorities” (like spending more on the Vietnam War than on domestic programs) and its insufficient social legislation when compared to European nations. King concluded: “All of the misery that stoked the flames of rage and rebellion remains undiminished.” Statements like this reveal the extent to which he was becoming bitter at the pace of social change envisioned by his original faith in nonviolence. Despite professing in 1958 to expect little more than “hostility and persecution,” King was becoming frustrated just a decade later.
I’m sure many people would probably make blanket statements that are hard to understand…”don’t write about something too grandiose” “don’t write about something too mundane” “don’t make it too intellectual-sounding” “don’t make it sound like intellectualism is not a part of your life”–but the best advice I can give is figure out a writing style that works for you, and run with it. If you look hard enough, you will find people in your life who know you well enough to give you tips on your writing style while staying true to yourself and making it genuine. Take this advice with a grain of salt. Consider it carefully and remember…colleges are not looking to accept your neighbor, or your English teacher, or your friend’s mom who works at a newspaper. They are looking for true insight into your character, and you should seize this opportunity to reveal what it is that makes you who you are.