Sunday, February 02, 2020

A Very Blogger Miracle

One of the requirements for my graduate school application is a writing sample, which has been slowing my application process down considerably (well, that and the statement of purpose). I've done a lot of writing since leaving my undergraduate years behind but I wouldn't say much of it (or any of it, really) counts as academic in tone. I have my old college papers somewhere in a box downstairs (not all of them, just the ones that I deemed "good" back in the day) and I suppose I could drag one out and revise it but I hardly feel I'm the same person I was the last time I wrote a college paper (and I daresay that although I haven't been doing academic writing my writing has gotten better over the past decade and a half (at least, that's my hope)). So really the only option I have is to write a paper to submit as my writing sample, which is fine because getting a master's degree will likely require a fair bit of writing.

And I'm fine with that.

Writing isn't usually a problem for me.

I'm one of those people with an internal monologue that's constantly running, so I always advise people (*cough* Benjamin *cough*) to just take the words that are in their brain—which obviously must be telling them stories all day long—and put them on the paper. But is it possible other people don't experience life this way? It seems possible (and the few friends of mine who have come out as non-internal-monologuers have mentioned that writing is a difficult task for them). But that's besides the point because I am the sort who has an internal monologue blaring in my brain all. day. long.

And I've always been more comfortable writing those words out than I have been saying them.

But this paper has been psyching me out!

I have done quite a bit of research. Probably not enough research, honestly, but with the deadline looming and without the guidance of any sort of research advisor, I'd say I did a fair to middling job at finding decent sources. I read, I highlighted, I took notes, I transcribed my notes.

And then I sat down to write and had a billion false starts and several stormy days where I doubted everything about myself (which was super fun) and wound up with my curser flashing on a blank page. I simply couldn't do it.

"Try writing it in Blogger," Andrew suggested.

"I've thought about it," I admitted. "But it almost seems silly. I can't go through grad school on Blogger..."

"But you're comfortable writing there and I don't write any of my papers on Word either. The page delineation constantly has me worrying about how much I've written and when I'm going to make it to the next page and... I write in [whatever nerdy thing he writes in that I will probably end up adopting because he's smart and he has smart systems] and work out formatting later."

And so I sat down to write on Blogger this weekend and have managed to pound out over 2000 words, which has me sitting at nearly ten pages (double-spaced) and I'm just so relieved!

I mean, the paper is not good, nor is it finished, but at least it's there.

I can finish it and I can edit it and both those things will make it better but there's nothing you can do with nothing.

And now I feel like I don't even have to worry about length quite so much because the requirement is a writing sample of less than twenty pages and I am there. I am sitting pretty at "less than twenty pages."

With any luck I'll have this paper all beautified in the next couple of weeks and then I'll only have to worry about my statement of purpose. And letters of recommendation. This will be fine.

100% of me feels like starting this process while also learning the ropes of homeschooling is the very definition of insanity, but 100% of me also feels like I've been waiting for this for a long time, so I'm not sure that I want to keep waiting for the perfect timing that clearly doesn't exist. 

1 comment:

  1. I do believe that James Goldberg did most of the writing for his master's degree in three different blogs. So, there is a precedent!