Writing Wednesday – Scholar v. Natural

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Welcome to Writing Wednesday, my weekly feature where I discuss my works in progress, project ideas, editing struggles, or anything else related to the world of writing. Feel free to grab my button and post your own thoughts on writing! Leave a link to your post in the comments and I’ll stop by.

As I’ve mentioned on here 1,043,972 times, I’m in my last quarter of grad school. You know what that means, right? Thesis writing! (Or in my case, capstone project writing!)

I’ve been in school part-time since January 2009, which means for the last 2.5 years I’ve spent a good portion of my writing life trying to sound very scholarly and proper. I try to avoid terms like “snooty” and “smartypants” but sometimes it all feels very much like in my efforts to write a quality paper I’m really just trying to sound smart.

Don’t get me wrong. My GPA is thanking me for those efforts. My snoot-tastic writing self is really paying off when it comes to school. But how is that translating into my other writing?

It’s hard for me, between school and work, to shut off that professional/business writing self and open up to my creative side sometimes. I sit down to try and write a review here and it feels so stiff and formulaic. Most of the time I want to delete the whole post and just write, “Four stars. Pretty awesome. You should read it. I’m tired.”

The perfectionist control freak side of me (read: all of me) will never let that happen. What’s the point of writing a review if you’re just going to say, “Meh. It was okay.” What would I do with all of these opinions?

The stiff side also struggles to really let go in my fiction. My sluggish, stress-addled brain slumps down against my skull, shakily pours itself a shot of espresso, and starts rambling about research methods and literature reviews and grant applications. I end up staring at the blank word processing document for about 12.3 seconds before clicking open Safari and checking Facebook again.

Le sigh.

I need to find a way to get in the zone and shrug off the business suit mentality. Nobody wants to read boring, scholarly Logan. They want to read fun, casual Logan! And if they don’t, I do, so I vow to try and be more fun in my reviews and in my fiction.

Somewhere in here is a funny, lively, non-Eeyore-sounding person. I promise.