Baby Steps

I really am very thankful that this course allows us to go in directions other than that of your typical analytical essay. Other classes give us nowhere near that kind of freedom, and its nice. I almost forgot what it feels like to do a creative project. But alas, this is a writing course after all, and I do need to return to the essay at some point.

And so on that topic, I do have some writing skills that are in need of improvement, mostly my pre-writing process. Perhaps I missed this memo in high school but I feel like my paper outlining skills are practically nonexistent. When I sit down to write a paper, perhaps I have a few notes on what I want to write, but I just start writing the intro and then the body paragraphs and so forth. This is doable, but I feel like it’s not practical. This process is also stressful lol. I could save myself a world of trouble if I learned to outline my ideas before hand. Its like sitting down to do a painting and just jumping right in with the colors without doing a sketch first. I need to learn how to sketch!!

Aside from honing in on my pre-writing process, I would also like to eradicate all my anxiety that comes when I hear I must write a paper. Even at this point in my education, a junior in college, I still get nervous when an essay assignment is presented. This is unacceptable to me. I don’t want to feel anxious, I should feel confident and prepared, like I know I can do this and it’s not a big deal. Like I’ve done this so many times before and this will be none the different. I think the problem is that I don’t have enough experience cranking out essay after essay like it’s nothing, and (as boring as it sounds) maybe I need some high intensity essays in a short period of time to sponge out this fear.

But this would mean class won’t be (as) fun anymore! And thats no fun! I need to conserve my fun, since I only have one year of it left before the real world arrives 😉

Rachel Hutchings

Los Angeles born, Ann Arbor raised. I'm a film student at the University of Michigan and an ardent music junkie on the side. I'm sure you'll catch me at local gigs around town.

One thought to “Baby Steps”

  1. Rachel,
    It does feel a bit refreshing to have a project that goes off the beaten path; while it does feel somewhat refreshing to write another standard academic paper, there is something sensational and exhilarating about going off the beaten path with a project. Anyway, I completely understand what you are talking about with the writing process; to me, I just type away at a keyboard, and I feel there is a more efficient method than going about this way. While it undoubtedly does nothing to harm me, I feel like a more practical method can help advance my writing by leaps and bounds, something that you may sympathize with. Finally, with regards to your anxiety, I think the best method would be as you said: write more. Writing is like a sport, it only gets better with constant practice. So if you can find time to practice, you’ll emerge as a writing professional.

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