Are you a frequent rider of the academic-struggle bus? Do you think writing papers is the worst part of college? Do you cry over impending deadlines and dread being given written assignments?
First, I want to say I have definitely been there. I’ve procrastinated and pulled all-nighters. I’ve missed deadlines, misplaced rough drafts, misread the directions for assignments. And worst of all, I’ve stared into that awful abyss of an endlessly intimidating blank page, feeling absolutely sure that I would never find worthy words to fill it.
So please believe me when I say this: I know how you feel.
I hated writing for the longest time. And then little by little, I didn’t.
Over the years, particularly the last few of high school and the first few of college, I had to write quite a bit. Even though I didn’t especially love the process, I did love the feeling of accomplishment I got when I finished a paper. I always told myself I was reading my final draft multiple times to check for any errors I’d missed, but in all honesty, I just enjoyed getting to read something I had created.
For me, that was the key that opened my mind to accepting writing as an interesting activity –realizing that writing was creating – that everything I wrote was an entirely new creation and nobody else in the world had ever or would ever arrange the same exact words in the same exact order that I did. Realizing that was amazing to me.
When I started to think of writing as a creative process, I started to see how beautiful it really is, how gifted we really are to have the capability of translating the fluid language of our thoughts into the solid language of our words in writing. That’s how I came to believe that writing is cool.
Sometimes all it takes is a change of perspective.
If creativity isn’t your thing, you can think of it another way. What if you like to argue? Think of writing as arguing. A great deal of the writing you’ll do in college will require an argument of some sort anyway. Even if you’re writing a compare and contrast essay, you’ll essentially be arguing that two things can be compared and contrasted, and your paper will support that argument with evidence.
What if you like football? You can think of writing a paper like you would think of designing a football play. In football, it’s all about finding the right pattern of moves to reach the endzone without losing the ball. In writing, it’s all about finding the right pattern of words to reach the conclusion without losing the point.
What I’m basically saying is this: whatever you have to do to convince yourself that writing is cool, do it. And as a general rule of life, remember that your attitude will shape your actions. If you spend all day thinking tomorrow will be miserable, it probably will be. If you refuse to think of writing a paper as an opportunity, you will lose the opportunity to enjoy it.
But, if you are confident and excited about your ability to prove your point or reach the endzone or create something new, you’ll enjoy writing a lot more.
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