Writing is an arduous task. You seem to get ideas whirring in your brain. But the words, without proper motivation, do not form any coherent thought. Sometimes it seems that you got them right. And then after some reading, they may either sound jumbled or out of touch. You end up crumpling that piece of paper, throwing it in trash and flipping a new one to start again. The same goes when the writing gets electronic. It's either the backspace or delete buttons that get your fingers' brunt. Or the Trash Bin's filled with unfinished notes and too many drafts.
Maybe it's the pen. Or the feel of the paper when the tip touches it. Or maybe I'm not in the mood. It takes a jolting experience to push us to write those pent up stories, scenarios or theories that fill our little heads. Sometimes, we tell ourselves we can't focus. There's just too much inside that we can't put to words. Or that concept's too magnanimous to articulate. It may take time. It may take so much effort. It may need a little more creativity or innovation before I can type the words so that blinking cursor could move.
Finally, we think, maybe I'm not a good enough writer. Other people can express those words better than what I've written so far. They weave in letters into syllables and then into phrases and paragraphs like looming a nice quilt. They all look and sound and feel different but when taken as a whole, the beauty of it all resonates. There's reason and rhyme. Maybe, just maybe, I am not good enough to write.
O but you practice. You try again because you love how the ink slowly paves way for more letters to be scribbled. You try because there's beauty in the different handwritings you use depending on your mood. You try because deep inside you feel that at one moment, the rhythm you are looking for will finally be brought to life. So you try. Until the words bring forth flesh and life. You try. Because it is only through writing that you feel alive.
Yesterday, I had the opportunity to participate in an academic writing workshop. Our Thursday class Professor organised one with a colleague and together they shared guidelines on writing. I missed the first half because I was too sleepy to get up and go to school. The morning session focused on assessing the student's reading comprehension plus several tools on writing.
During the afternoon, which I was able to finish, the discussions centred on answering essay-type examinations, creating annotated outlines for academic papers and then a mini-writing session. The guidelines were not different from those we get to read from writing books. What makes it special though, was that I can contrast the theory of writing with my current writing practice. I realized that on the one hand, my writing problems include my laziness to produce clear outlines. This is the usual reason why I get lost in the process of writing. Also, I tend to get enamoured by information and literature. The message of the papers I write then, end up blurred or messed up. On the other, when I become too meticulous, the paper ends up the same.
They say balance is key. The only way to do so is practice and get as much feedback as I can on the papers I write. Hopefully, our Thursday class, which focuses on how we conceptualise special issues and write something about these stuff, will be that much-needed platform.
Plus this new research writing job I took on the side. Hahaha. :)
Labels: 2015, acad stuff, feeling profound, school, weekends, writing