For Your Consideration

I was a very superstitious baseball player. Every time I stepped into the batter’s box I would tap both my left and right cleat three times, touch each of the five points of home plate, and then practice my swing twice. I was also arguably the worst hitter on my team^1. So, depending on your outlook, either my superstition didn’t work that well or it was the only thing keeping me from striking out every at bat. When it comes to writing, however, I don’t consider myself to be overly ritualistic. I have some habits, sure, but nothing that would qualify as a ritual, at least in my eyes. I don’t tap my left and right shoes three times, touch each of the corners of my computer, and pretend to type for two minutes before I can work. With that being said, I think that a habit that I would like to get into is the ability to actually use feedback to improve my papers.

I’m very protective over my work. George Orwell once said that writing is the ultimate form of ego fulfillment, which works really well for me because when it comes to writing I have an ego that could fill St. Peter’s Basilica. I tend to instinctively reject suggestions for improvement without really considering whether or not it would actually improve my writing. A routine I would like to start is taking each suggestion, closing my eyes for a second to fully consider it, and then deciding whether or not to implement it rather than rejecting it out of pure ego. I think this would allow me to improve my work as well as give people a little bit more freedom to critique my work.



^1 Arguably here means the same as it does in the sentence “Sam is arguably correct when he asserts that the Sun will rise in the East tomorrow.” I was an abomination at the plate.

One thought to “For Your Consideration”

  1. Zach, I found your post quite insightful. I can very much relate to the superstitious habits when it comes to sports (In fact, when I was ten years old, I ate pasta with meat sauce and a milkshake from Big Boy five times in three days… gross I know, but it worked) and finding it difficult to apply to the writing process. I think it is very self-aware to realize that you don’t care for critique. I feel like this can be common, especially among people who are confident in their abilities. I felt similarly to a certain degree until taking English 325 and 425 where your receive extensive written criticism of your paper. In both cases, the writing consisted of very personal narratives. It was at this point that I really realized that people would provide the best criticisms when they cared about the work or what was written, and it is done to better the piece. The critique isn’t of you as a person. I think keeping this in mind may aid in a warmer welcome of other people’s ideas and opinions.

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