Not being one to swear regularly and that even occasionally, I still found myself grinning at the title of a recent homework assignment using the S-word in the title. Go ahead and try taking out crummy in my title, and substitute the above mentioned word, not leaving out the "y" and you will get the title. Our class busted up laughing when we discussed this piece. I found myself chuckling as well even though I do not normally speak like that, let alone write like that. To top it off Yolanda said, "all first drafts are shitty." For this I had to really join the class and enjoy throwing that word around.
Through the discussion on writing, it came out that a lot of the cohort does not feel comfortable with their writing. This is good as it shows our trust is building enough for us to let our hair down. Ronn, Dr. Hallet, shared lots of ideas on getting started by setting timers for writing for 30 minutes with five minute breaks or 45 minute writing with 15 minute breaks. Ronn, encouraged us to try to write a minimum of 30 minutes a day, but better to try to write an hour daily. Ideally, write two hours a day at a dedicated set time every day. I think I can do this. I have seen a lot of blogs by doctoral students and wonder where they get the time, now I know why, for practice.
I started doing a lot of reflective writing in a Coursera MOOC course this summer, Tinkering Fundamentals, offered by The Exploratorium this summer. I think this helped hone up my writing on demand, and I am better able to get started, especially if you give me something controversial, boring, or funny to critique. I am at a pont in my life that I am going to take my own advice that I give to my high school students, "go ahead and slam it if you do not agree." It is kind of fun to cut lose this way.
I am not as worried about starting writing now as I am about writing too much. I tend to over think and not want to leave out minute detail, and this wastes time for other work. Though I am great at editing and APA style, my biggest concern is organizing my thoughts into an outline that leads the reader through a well-written study. It is hard for me to be linear and I want to do my very best.
The funny part of class was when Ronn said, "do not try to sound like some sort of an English professor in your writing" and "do not forget your voice because that is what they want to hear in your writing" so there was a nice bit of levity in class tonight, and we needed that to draw us closer to each other.