Monday, February 14, 2011

The Writing Problem

Usually, when I give a post a title like "the writing problem" I'm about to write something about time and how I have none of it and more of all that harried, boring same-old, same-old. This time, however, I'd like to nod in that direction by saying that of course I have no time and who does anyway and if someone DID have loads of time on her hands, could she admit it? With that out of the way, I'd like to just mention my other writing problem. In a word: School.

I have to write things for school. Things like "article reflections" for which I'm asked to answer specific questions about an article I've read. I have to write critical responses to articles I've read, for which the professor asked that I note the main argument of an article, its value and any criticisms I have of it. These are valid exercises. They're the kind of thing you do when you're a student and now I'm a student. Only, the thing is, I find them excruciating. I write sentences and reread them only to discover I've used the passive voice. My sentences are long, very long, extremely, terribly long and not because of artistry but just because it's taking me way too long to get the damn thought out. I'm doing that thing where I'm writing sentences that sound vaguely like they've been too literally translated from French. The word "ponderous" comes to mind. Do you see my problem?

I hope that at some point I'll loosen up, that I'll get less nervous, because right now I'm still in that new-student-I-want-to-get-it-right nervous mode. Then again, I may not loosen up because, you know, sometimes the medium shapes the messenger. All I can say is this: We'll see.

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