Challenge Journal – Was I wrong?

Looking back at my Why I Write for Gateway, I notice a lot of things. I had a lot to say, and it’s evident in the writing.

But one of my favorite parts of my pieces was the following chunk:

“Once I start finding associations, I run into more. It’s the chase. It’s a web that never ends. I could do this thinking in my brain, but how could I keep track of it? The web is infinite, so jumping from once place to another without at least keeping an eye on the initial or ending place or any of the stops in between is dangerous. It’s like those conversations you have with your best friend that result in questions about how you got on the subject in the first place, leaving you both confused and disappointed by your inability to backtrack and recover any of the beautiful ideas that were elicited mid-conversation.”

Well, I at least like the idea of it. As Ray mentioned a few weeks ago in our class, writing helps us to think critically about things. It’s difficult to develop a deep understanding of something without writing it down. I think a lot of that has to do with the statement I made above. It helps you track your thoughts and keep your point A and point B in your head simultaneously.

However, I might have been wrong. Maybe I don’t do that as much as I should. Going back to my first challenge journal, I discuss how difficult it is for me to write poorly (once again, not because my work is always good but because I have trouble just getting thoughts out). So maybe this really is something to work on.

Due to the scale of this project, I believe I’ve progressed in this area. There were many nights I needed to generate pages worth of content, but I knew I didn’t have time to fuss over the wording of every sentence, so I just wrote. This is a habit I hope to get into when I’m not pressed for time. Allowing myself to write poorly just to get the thoughts out there.

So maybe the idea I had of why I write from before was kind of wrong. I do love writing for its exploratory nature, but I need to utilize that more for sure. And the first step is writing poorly (put simply). Yay!

2 thoughts to “Challenge Journal – Was I wrong?”

  1. Hey Lauren,
    I relate to the feeling of not being able to write without the pressure of feeling like what I write has to be perfect. I think that’s because the majority of the writing that we’ve done in our lives has been for school and for a grade – it’s always been judged by people with rubrics. Somewhere in my college career, I tried to change my attitude, but I really don’t think I’m able to “write poorly” unless I’m only writing for myself. I write my best (or I at least like my writing the most) when there is absolutely no external pressure on that pen, and I happen to be writing without even caring how it comes out. I actually wrote a poem about this about a year ago. The only line I remember is “I used to write for gold, now I write to mold.” I was trying to get across to myself that if I’m only ever writing for perfection I won’t be able to improve my writing as much as if I just write and take each mistake in stride. I’m glad that this project helped you get better at trusting your gust while you’re writing. It did the same for me!

  2. Hi Lauren,

    I can totally relate to having to figure out how to just write without thinking deeply about every word or structural choice at the beginning. I mentioned in one of my first challenge journals that I found my most honest work seemed to come out of the kind of time crunch that forces you to just write (usually to get to a word limit, for me!). Reading your post made me wonder if writing to think through something and writing something to be beautiful always had to be at odds in a first attempt – I think there’s something appealing about the raw prose of a first draft, where you haven’t censored or refined yet. I definitely think capstone is the kind of project that’s big enough to force you to work on figuring out your thoughts and your rhetorical choices.

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