Procrastination, fear, or a combination of both often holds writers back from jumping right in and writing. This post explores some ideas you may find helpful in getting your writing project started.
Writing is a highly personal process. No two people approach writing the same way. Your process for writing, is your process, and one to embrace. Coming to accept this highly personalized aspect of writing allows for release of fear, and the emergence of confidence to occur. The fear we carry about our writing, may come from past experiences in classrooms where teachers, professors, TA’s, or other students shamed our writing in one way or another, resulting in a traumatic experience for us. Remembering that these traumas are now in the past, and that there is no one way to write (either academically or creatively), can open the way to actually getting words on that paper.
This is a process, it evolves, it transforms, and in doing so identifies another concept of integral – wherein the writer and the written are non-dualistic in nature. Certainly, there are writing formats to adhere to, with specificity, and other academically rigorous rules to follow. I don’t think they are mutually exclusive, but perhaps the academic rigor lends context to the written material.
One concept to come to terms with, is that we all have opinions about things. Right? Whether it’s about a song, a friend’s bad choice of jeans, or an article on neo-liberalism, we have an opinion! Understanding that we are opinionated people, and then taking it in and owning it, can help with reducing the fear we have about writing. Opinions are neither right or wrong; they just are, and they are sometimes not shared with others. Just because your opinion matches -or doesn’t match- someone else, doesn’t make it right or wrong, it just makes it different. The trick, then, in academic writing, is to be able to find citations in the readings that support your viewpoint. This part of the process will be covered in another post.
We invite you to share your thoughts on this post, ask questions, give your own lived experience of this particular element of the writing process.