It is the beginning of October and I haven’t turned in a paper yet – quite an achievement for a History major! But that doesn’t mean I haven’t been writing. Between all my classes, so far I think I have written around seventy notebook pages of notes already. In proportion to all the books and readings I’ve done so far (once again, History major) that’s really nothing.
And anyway, note-taking is usually not really regarded as writing, per se. But it is regarded as a skill – and when you look at it that way, my note-writing has really improved over my college career. When I was a freshman the notion that one should listen first and then take notes in summary form escaped me. I was writing not so much notes as paragraphs, and while this was great because I did not have to remember what it was professors said, when it came time to study I was overwhelmed with information. This meant that I had no indication of what was important and what was less important. And that was informative writing, but bad writing.
Writing is only good if it serves its intended purpose. That is what college taught me, and while I don’t know if I agree with this all of the time, it’s important to realize that’s why there are different, and to varying degrees, specialized forms of writing.
And that is what makes writing hard for me, but isn’t that everyone’s story?