So today is the first day of Blogging University, and while it does not necessarily have to do with translation or languages, I am participating because I think it’s an awesome way to practice writing. And who knows, with a few twists and tweaks I might actually be able to turn their prompts into topics that fit the intended theme of this blog.
Anywho, today’s challenge is to free-write for twenty minutes. That’s not too difficult for me, since most of my writing is free. The area I have difficulty in is planning what to write and structuring articles in a logical way. Hopefully there will be something down the line that forces me to do that.
Interestingly enough, I nearly forgot to do this very simple first task. I got caught up in a short story I was writing and next thing I know, it;s 11:24 p.m. and the daily prompt is only active for… for… 36 minutes? Is that right? I am ridiculously bad at math. I guess that’s what happens when you study French. Use it, as they say, or lose it.
I was so wrong about this being easy. Since it’s so late, my brain is exhausted and I can’t think of anything to write. This happens to me a lot. So much, actually, that I think I should be used to it. This is basically the state in which I write all of my academic essays. Yes, I know I’m a bad student. But I get everything done and handed in on time, so there’s that! This year was particularly difficult because my essays were of the English literature variety. I do love me some English lit., but when it comes to analyzing and arguing… I am not the best. For whatever reason, I have such a hard time coming up with themes, symbols, messages and the like when I am being force to do so by a teacher/professor/educational authority figure. When I’m reading a book of my own choosing, I have no problem digging deeper to find meaning in the text. I wonder if it has something to do with the judgement aspect of essay writing. I know that technically there are no wrong answers in English, but having someone far more knowledgeable go over my thesis and evaluate my arguments is incredibly stressful. I never feel like anything I write is good enough.
I feel like that about a lot of my writing though, not just academic essays. I wonder if every writer feels this way? Even J.K. Rowling must have some doubts about her writing skill. Maybe even Ernest Hemingway did. I can’t imagine what it would be like to be totally confident in my work. Realistically, it would probably be detrimental. You can’t improve yourself and your skills if you already believe that everything you do is perfect. If I were totally confident in my work I might get stuck in a developmental stasis, which is not something that I want to be stuck in. I love learning new things. It’s what I live for!
On the topic of learning new things, I have recently checked out ~25 books from the library. As of yesterday I have read… one. I’m working on what I’d call and “anecdotal grammar guide,” but I’m finding it really difficult to motivate myself to keep reading it. It’s not my style of book at all, but I want to write a review of it. I can’t write a review unless I read the whole thing.
Who knows? Maybe if I push through to the end, I’ll end up liking it (although I highly doubt that). The problem with wanting to finish, however, is that I can’t start another book until I’m done this one. It just doesn’t feel right. I have the tendency to start multiple books at a time, and then I get the plots (if it’s fiction) or facts (if it’s non-fiction) all mixed up and I end up learning nothing of use. At least some of them are fun reads. I try to learn something from every book, and it’s made so much easier and more fun when the writing style is relaxed and casual. And when the author uses anecdotes! I love having a glimpse into other peoples’ lives, and if they feel the need to share a story in order to properly convey and idea, I am so down for that!
I have 1 minute and 30 seconds to write. I feel very bad that this post has just been a mélange of disjointed thoughts and ideas but, like I said, I’m going to try to do this Blogging University thing to the best of my ability! We’ll be back to our regular scheduled programming come the end of June!
Thanks for reading, and thanks for putting up with me!