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.

6 thoughts on “Writing Wednesday – Scholar v. Natural

  1. But Eeyore is adorable in his melancholy. Logan, trust me when I say I know what you mean. I don't even understand half the crap I'm writing right now…"An evaluation of literary criticism and the poststructuralistâ??s disregard for an author as an individual capable of self- interpretation."huh? Yes, I have been staring at that jumble for the past HOUR trying to think of what else I could write since the assignment is due tonight. I really wish I could BS my way through this one. Don't be so hard on yourself. I'm extremely intrigued by your scholarly side. Smart people are my weakness.

  2. I for one think it would be hilarious if someday you posted that ten-word book review 🙂 Guess the author wouldn't find it so funny though. Just give it time and your own voice will come through. I started blogging around the same time as you and I still struggle every time I sit down to write a post. And I'm not trying to write a thesis and juggle a million other things on the side :)Good luck with the end of school!

  3. I don't think you sound like Eeyore! Maybe scholarly Logan and casual Logan need different outfits, like Business Barbie and Lifeguard Barbie? (Only not exactly Barbie, because she's creepy and shaped funny.) Or maybe different hats 🙂

  4. My gosh, if you're able to say things like smartypants and snoot-tastic I think you're ok 🙂 Are you telling me you actually get funnier? All this time I've been giggling my butt off and I've only been privy to the Snooty Scholarly Logan? There's a funnier version? Inconceivable! You like challenges? Bring it! I want to see this mythical funnier Logan. :P(Psst! Eeyore was my favorite Pooh's Corner character when I was a kid)

  5. I am really enjoying your blog, it has provided me an immense information I was searching for months. I am working on my literature review and it seems that with your blog's help,I will come up wiht a perfect review.Regards

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