Friday, 17 January 2014
Writing for School
Hey everyone! Happy Friday! Today, I wanted to talk about something everyone's probably familiar with or at least was at one time or another: Writing... For school. You know, the essays, free writes, big presentations that take ten million hours to prepare.
Now, we've all had to do it, so this is old news, but in my English class we recently had to write an essay connecting three literary works we studied in class. I had to do a similar assignment last year and absolutely loved it, but this year, the essay had me in tears and made me panicky and anxious and it just wasn't a pretty sight. Why? Because I didn't care about what I was writing.
Last year, our entire syllabus was incredible, having to do with free speech, conformity vs. individuality and a lot of other subjects that I found very interesting. However, this was the year we studied Lord of the Flies by William Golding and other works all about power and control. While I didn't mind the works we studied, I found writing about them to be painful and I could not for the life of me find a topic to stick with that I actually cared about.
This is not to say that I don't care about the subjects related to the book, I just couldn't force myself to be passionate about it. While I appreciated Lord of the Flies, I definitely didn't love it. I really liked Macbeth, but at the same time, it's absolutely not my favourite. I just didn't find a spark within myself to write an essay linking these works and others together... Not like last year, where I got to talk about the Holocaust and Dead Poet's Society and I was able to reference John Green and J.K. Rowling... Last year's essay came naturally to me and I did very well on the assignment, getting the highest mark in the class. This year though, I wrote and re-wrote but nothing was coming out and it wasn't even writer's block... it was just a lack of interest and complete frustration. When I tried to talk to my teacher about my struggles, I felt as if he didn't think caring about what you were writing was important. I understand that this assignment needed to get done, but I really felt hopeless. But then I was able to compromise with him and he gave me permission to write a paragraph on a source that we didn't use in class.... SHERLOCK!!! So in my essay, I found ways to incorporate my everyday loves: I compared Macbeth and Voldemort in one paragraph and talked all about Moriarty in another. It made this awful assignment a little bit better. I know that not every writing assignment I get in my life will be like this, where I am able to change it a bit to my liking, but it was really nice to be able to take something so completely uninspiring and dull and make it exciting for myself.
I don't really know what I wanted to accomplish with this post, but I thought I'd write about it anyways and see what your thoughts were on writing for school and even just having to write things that don't interest you... Let me know what you think!
(Speaking of school and writing, I was contacted a little while ago by Grammarly, which is an online proofreader that is SO USEFUL and I thought I'd mention it for those of you who haven't heard of it! I like to use Grammarly's grammar check when my mind has been completely taken over by Wrackspurts and am stressing out so much that no positive thoughts can come to mind to get rid of them. You know the feeling, when you're writing and then all of a sudden it's just... a complete and total mess? Yeah, it sucks.)