Mood.

I’m not sure if it’s this class or this semester or even this year, but I feel like I’ve been doing through a major transition with my writing. I’ve started to overanalyze every word I write and every story I tell. In actuality, I’m sure I have not gotten worse as a writer, like I sometimes imagine I have, but I do feel less confident in my writing ability. Whereas I used to be able to sit down and write a paper without doubting or second guessing my thesis or format, I now take hours just to formulate a thesis statement that I end up changing halfway through.

The Californians

It could be that as I get older and gain more experience with writing outside of school, the way I write adjusts to complete different tasks. For example, when I write a blog post for work, they are usually 1000 words and do not require a thesis per say–though they do have an argument–and instead, focus on telling the story in a clear way. No flowery language, no complex structures. Just regular ole words!

Conversely, the prompts I’ve had this semester have challenged me to develop a thesis statement and find evidence to support it. What I’ve noticed is that every GSI and professor I’ve had prefers their written assignments in different formats. Some want a clear thesis statement, and a classic 5-paragraph essay while others want us, as writers, to be more creative and tell a story. It’s been difficult to switch up my writing style every time I have a new paper due. But I guess that’s college…and life.

As it pertains to this class, the blog posts are what have kept me sane and confident in my writing. They allow me to voice how I’m feeling and what I’m looking forward to without worrying about the “grade” I’ll receive. As Andrew Sullivan pointed out in his post, “Why I Blog” it’s the urgency of writing a blog that is enticing for me. “We blog now,” he writes and I feel this urgency every time I read the Semester Schedule. I like being forced into writing, even when it’s a struggle to come up with something to say. I think this push and pull is what makes writing so beautiful and so challenging. If it was easy, everyone would be a writer (depending on your definition of writer, I suppose everyone actually is a writer…I digress).

Jennifer Lawrence

To tie my stream of consciousness that is this blog post together, I’ll close by saying that this semester has posed a new host of challenges in terms of writing but I do not wish them to go away. I think the overanalyzing and late night worry about writing is normal, and perhaps beneficial for my writing. I know, deep down, that I am improving as a writer. What I think is missing, however, is a way for me to truly understand how and in what ways because, other than the grades I receive or the praise I get from my boss, there’s no way of truly knowing that you are getting better at doing something that’s so subjective. If anyone has any tips for keeping track of progress, I would definitely be interested in hearing about it!

Always Writing.

Source: http://dreamcolleges.com/image/GET-SCHOOLED-girl-writing-thinking-e1294776033118.jpg

It seems like I spend a big part of my life writing–for school, for internships, for work, for pleasure. I am always writing. My roommates study for biology exams and complete homework sets for math as I construct the perfect paper. Sometimes I feel overwhelmed by writing. With so many assignments on my mind, it’s hard to figure out where to start. I’m the type of girl who starts about 7 different assignments at once and, although I never procrastinate, has the burden of finishing them all at the same time–and making sure they are perfect. I noticed this becomes harder when all of those assignments are writing assignments.

To give you a better idea of how much writing I do on a weekly basis, here are the writing assignments/tasks on my mind this week: Communications 451 prospectus & term paper, English 229 online profile/portfolio, English 229 blog post, Communications 381 literature review & research paper, Writing 200 blog post, Writing 200 draft #2 of re-purposing an argument essay, Writing 200 portfolio, StyleLine Designer Spotlight article, Her Campus style article. Wow. That’s 11 different writing assignments. Seeing this list makes me realize just how much writing I do. Now don’t get me wrong, I love to write. But when I have this many different things to write, some of the fun turns into pressure and stress as I try to successfully complete each assignment and figure out what paper I should work on first.

It’s tempting to dive right in to the fun fashion articles for StyleLine magazine and Her Campus, but then I remind myself that I am a full-time (18 credit) student at the University of Michigan and my school writing assignments should probably take precedence. Although there are no “internship syllabi”, there are deadlines. And this is why it’s important for me to consider due dates for all of my writing assignments, not just the academic ones.

I decided to make myself a writing schedule to help keep me sane:

  1. Eng 229 online profile/portfolio (Due Thurs), started
  2. Writ 200 draft #2 of re-purposing an argument essay (Due Thurs), started*
  3. Eng 229 blog post (Due Thurs)
  4. StyleLine designer spotlight article (Due Fri), did the interview*
  5. Her Campus style article (Due Fri), need to write the final draft when I get the rough draft back
  6. Comm 381 lit review (Due Oct 21)
  7. Comm 451 term paper (Due Dec 5)
  8. Comm 381 research paper (Due Dec 9)

Writ 200 portfolio (Due ??)

Writ 200 blog post (Due today: COMPLETE)

Comm 451 prospectus (Due Mon: COMPLETE)

Maybe now I will be able to write without feeling the need to pull out my hair or scream each time I remind myself how many different writing assignments I have. Some people would probably laugh at the idea of even thinking about a writing assignment that isn’t due until the beginning of December, but for me it’s absolutely necessary to start planning ahead.

Do you feel like you are always writing too?