It recently occurred to me that, in the last eighteen months, I’ve written a book.
I’ve been a full-time college student since the fall of 2010, and in that time, I’ve written somewhere around 90 essays, reports, and research papers for school. Their lengths have ranged between one and sixteen pages, but I’d guess that the average is around four. 90 x 4 = 360 pages. And that, my friends, is a pretty decent-sized book.
I tell you this not to brag about what a prolific writer I’ve become, but to offer as my somewhat flimsy excuse for being so non-prolific as a blogger.
A lot of work goes into my school papers. They’re the products of countless hours of study, research, and reflection (not to mention the writing itself). All of this leaves little time or motivation for pleasure writing (which is what blogging’s supposed to be, right?). I’ve also taken on two part-time jobs since my last post. These have soaked up pretty much every free moment not already devoted to studying.
I know. Excuses, excuses. This blogging thing should be quick and easy. No research or study required. Just write what’s on your mind. Simple. Done.But as it turns out, writing for school seems to come a lot more easily than writing for my friends and family (and any unfortunate strangers who might stumble across this site). Most of my school assignments come with built-in structure, well-defined content expectations, and most importantly, enforced deadlines. I can usually nail a straightforward school paper with relative ease and surprising speed. I’ve been known to crank out the occasional quarter-long writing assignment in a single weekend. And I believe my 3.97 GPA suggests that I’ve been doing pretty well at this. (Okay, that was me bragging).
But with this school work, I don’t really swing for style points or try to wow professors with my prose. I just try to articulate my learning in a clear and concise manner while hitting all of the marks laid out for the paper. Not terribly exciting, but it does the job, and it’s still work I can be proud of.
Writing for this blog is a whole different ballgame. Trying to convert the considerable amount of mush in my head into coherent, interesting, and, if I’m really “on”, funny and/or poignant pieces can be somewhat challenging for me. Without the benefits of a well-structured assignment, and with plenty of distractions all around me, I can quickly lose my writing steam. As is often the case, I may start a piece, decide halfway through that I hate what I’m writing and that I SUCK AT THIS, and then simply throw my hands up in frustration. For me, the discouragement of a single false start can fuel an entire month’s lack of inspiration. It makes me dread writing.
On the other hand, if I feel like I’m onto something, it can consume me. Hours will fly by and my basic needs and obligations will go neglected as I obsessively tweak the life out of every word and phrase in a given piece. But only rarely does this result in a completed post that I actually consider worthy of the eyes of my friends and loved ones. In other words, I really do try to dazzle you, my dear readers, with the style of my prose. Writing for you guys is a labor of love, so I guess that’s why it takes a little more time. I’m sure you understand.
Anyway, that’s it. This is the explanation for my prolonged absence from SOTD. I do sincerely hope I can post more frequently, and will do my best amuse you all with my (hopefully unique and witty) insights whenever I get the chance. I already have one or two new posts in mind for the immediate future, plus an upcoming guest post for my friend’s blog you won’t want to miss. So, this is encouraging, no?
Thanks for reading, folks! You’ll be hearing from me again real soon!