Fall Approaches 

I haven't been feeling myself lately, partially I think because of the change of weather. It has been a little bit cooler and a bit more cloudier, especially in the morning, all of which is a reminder that school will be beginning soon and I still haven't yet completed my papers from spring term. I know that I have complained to much here about something that has largely been within my own control, therefore, I will try to keep my thoughts about the unfinished work short.

Although I forget in which book I was reading it, I recently came across some advice for overcoming writer's block, something that every writer supposedly experiences at one time or another. This is my first real, a most severe case of it. I have put off assignments before. In my undergraduate days, there were a couple of 3-5 page papers that I put off until I was sometimes the very last person in the computer lab when they shut it down at 2:00 a.m. and the first person to be there in the morning when they opened it at 7:00 a.m. A marathon session at the computer would be all I needed to get the work in on time. Part of me does not want to believe that I am experiencing writer's block at all right now, but the facts are staring me in the face. Feedback, wanted and unwanted, from my girlfriend and my family has helped me see the extent to which this has affected me, and by extension, them. And it has not been pretty.

Fall Approaches

Anyway, the advice in the book was simply this: A famous writer says that she allows "sentences to be as stupid as they wish." I think that my problem is that I have placed so much pressure on doing these papers perfectly, I have nursed too many fears that the paper will earn a poor mark, I have wasted so much energy worrying about a future not being at school anymore, that I have become paralyzed. I keep waiting for the perfect sentence to spring into my head so I can put it on paper. The trouble is (and I intellectually knew it all along) that the perfect sentence is developed later, like muscles, on the skeleton sentence you place in the draft. This is basic writing process kind of stuff.

In any event, with the new approach of letting my sentences "be as stupid as they wish," I am going to try to knock a full draft of my half-completed paper either by the end of today or at least by sometime tomorrow. This has to been done because there is no more avoiding it. I will post another brief blog entry when I have it done. Until then.

03 September 2004
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