facebook moments we have known…

[party 1] has been reminded that trying to write badly is just as hard as trying to write well. Possibly harder. Trying to write generally sux. Writing when not having to try = good smile emoticon

… and that a good day off / impending deadlines may, even in the least inspired moments, adrenaline-dredge something vaguely functional out of an otherwise apparently ‘dysfunctional’ (ha!) writing process…

Likes: [6 of the more thoughtful and academic peeps]
[party 2] Why would you be trying to write badly?

[party 1] er, in an attempt to not spend too much time on first year essays. Tried writing well (took too long), tried writing badly (took longer), clearly need more practise wink emoticon

[party 2] writing well but concisely… hmm… might be a question of limiting the number of ideas you explore in the essay. hard for you i know as you have so many ideas and one leads to another! i’d try writing a very simple essay plan – just a couple of points – and sticking to it ruthlessly. then you can write well but just not so much.
[party 1] yep, did all that. NB i have tutored first and second year uni students, remember!
Think i’m just sick of being as disciplined writing wise as per phd/proposed article land, and not sufficiently simple/smart not to absentmindedly try and pack a phd into every essay paragraph.
Eg: most recent essay on ‘stereotypes of nursing, choose at least 2, discuss, 1500wds’.
The whole process of my responses (roughly):
1. Why bother, yes stereotypes exist, i counteract them via professional practice / peer education every day when working, will continue to do so as nurse, see also sector whatever of my thesis.
2. Choose ‘dr’s handmaiden’ and ‘heroine’, noting that given current writing issue (writers’ block / complete disinterest/motivation) that i can always choose more stereotypes if i can’t write enough about either of these two. Write essay plan, attempt to write, complete failure. Can’t be bothered writing on either. Limited inspiration via txtbooks and database acquired articles. Attempt to break down into pros and cons & write 200 on each. Fail.
(note ‘blood from stone’ writing phenomena, and wonder why i’m doing this degree. Again). Give up for a few days/weeks.
3. Impending deadline: try again with adrenaline input and absentmindedly/blood from stone write 500wds on intro (definitions) and conclusions. Absentmindedly/blood from stone write 1000wds on handmaidens (with publishable article potential). Rather more intentionally write 500 on hero. Cut all down and count quotations separately in order to keep to word count. Submit electronically 1.5hr before midnight deadline on my b’day.
4. Vow to get more efficient at essay writing…. (and await result with some trepidation).
5. Ignore result (who cares as long as i pass?!)
6. Actually get more efficient about (u/g nursing) essay writing, given more than one attempt   [note: 5 and 6 are aspirational phases in this plan…]
update 8mo later:
Have mastered #5 (mostly, at least until i actually go to check results at which point my heart still beats faster. oh well.). Still repeating #1-4 ;). And getting top marks. Oh well. Guess this is working.
ie ditch #6 as an aspirational goal. Instead: 6. stop beating myself up for what I consider a poor/chaotic/inefficient process. Keep enjoying the ride (note, at that point i really was NOT, ergo there has been progress). Attempt to increase trust in myself that said processes of mine are apparently well and truly good enough, so i might as well keep doing [er, no choice apparently], well, actually accept them.
ie create a separate, most important goal: 7. Enjoy the ride.
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