Reflections of a Weary Soul

The most memorable decision that I made when it comes to writing this semester, was to become looser in the formats in the writing assignments that I worked on.  

I should note before I go any further that being looser doesn’t mean thinking about the assignment less or even just not think much about it. What I mean is that when I write something I have a tendency to have my first draft be my final draft. By the time the first critique comes around I’ve already revised my essay enough times and all there is left is the technical editing that I missed. This semester I did this significantly less if that when it came to the major assignments.

This partially could be because of my time crunch when it came to other classes. Usually with classes I have around one or two that focus on writing. so I tend work on one assignment at a time (for literature), this semester I had a few more than that working against me. But even so that was a relatively small influence in reference on why I made my decisions.

I believe that the real reason that I kept my writing format much looser was because I wasn’t sure what the final format would be. In this semester we worked on essays with idea in mind that we would be using different forms of annotations to show our information. Weather hyperlinks, text boxes, or seemingly random paragraphs at the bottom of the page a person had to be prepared (in my opinion) to make the essays so that they would be easily moldable (cut and pasted) to what the author wanted end result to look like, even though they might not know what it would be at the time.   

So what were the affects? Well for one thing it made it easier for me to be for flexible with my writing. For example, with our first big project that we did this semester we had to write our version of a somewhat well-known story and then make note of our decisions in an eye pleasing fashion. For me Even though I stuck with more of an essay style format I played around and tried different annotations in my story (little Red Riding Hood). Because I wasn’t sure how I was going to format it I wrote the information in a way that could be easily understood in any format of annotation that I could choose. This may not seem like much but this is coming from a guy who mostly writes essays in the three step format “I’m going to tell you about information, I’m telling you about the information, and then I’m telling you that I told you about the information”.

My decision to stay loose and simple happened early on and helped me through most of the projects I worked on (even the blog posts). This is something that I should probably have been doing more of and hopefully I will continue to do more of it.




7 thoughts on “Reflections of a Weary Soul

  1. From someone who does that exact same thing, I understand just how hard it is to be flexible, so that’s great that you’re trying something new! It’s important to leave your writing, especially in academic courses, up to changes, as you never know what you can change, and how it’ll effect the entire tone, language, or meaning behind a piece. As a tip, try to write out your first draft without really thinking about it, then leave it for a night or at least a few hours without reading through it, and then look at it again. You’ll be amazed at how much your mindset changes in just a few hours away from your writing.


    • I get where you’re coming from and I appreciate it immensely however when it comes to writing I have a harder time with the suggestion. Not because I think it’s a bad idea, rather I think it’s perfect, but my problem is that when I use that method I do it way too much! In most cases it’s a good thing (especially in research papers) to do but when it comes to drafts I have problems stopping what I’m doing and let others criticize my foundations and insert their ideas before I continue hashing out the paper. So I guess in addition to your point I might add that walking away for a while is a good method but one should moderate how many times its done.


  2. I definitely know where you’re coming from on this, as I myself have done this for various English classes throughout high school and even college. I find it kind of hard even still now, to be more lackadaisical on my writing as I am sort of a perfectionist (or I try to be). But yeah, I think I will try to do what you have done and be more relaxed when I’m in my primary stages of writing an essay. That way I could get more useful feedback from people to go different routes than just having them say, “I don’t see anything wrong with your essay, it was good.”


    • I think the biggest down fall in over working your essay is some up in the key words you mentioned there, “useful feedback”. As much as I like to say that I am not, when it comes to English I am very much a protectionist. Although that isn’t a bad thing it’s like the point that you brought up, generally by the time critiques happen nothing much comes out of it. And if someone does notice something, subconsciously they see that the essay is already way to far down the road to change directions so the issue at hand is rarely brought up (that doesn’t happen all the time but I’ve had a few cases of it). It’s nothing that I stop to think about normally but once I change my format for writing I can see a differences in the responses I get.


  3. I definitely appreciate this look on the semester of this class. I must say, a strength in writing is writing a strong title. Although you don’t mention it in your blog post, I think you should include it in your list of strengths. Going through the blog, all of the reflections blog posts are titled either “Blog Post 6” or “Reflections” (guilty), but you were able to find a creative way to title this post. This made me think that what you had to say was also creative, and boy was I not disappointed. It was encouraging to see I was not the only one that felt a crunch this year.


    • First of all, I’m glad that I’m not the only one that was feeling burnt from the semester, going in to finals week, I met way too many hyper active people (although that could have been due to an overdose of coffee). As for the tittle… Wow… I didn’t really think that it was that great. I know that it is more likely for someone to view your post if you include both an interesting title and one that the audience could relate to, but I didn’t think that it was that unique. I guess it all depends on what other titles its related to such as the traditional “blog post” title.

      Thanks for the comment!


  4. Not sticking to a strict format or formula in your writing is a good way to avoid stressing yourself out over deadlines and the like. By letting yourself write however you feel best works for you, you create an end product that is enjoyable to read. That’s really what matters in the end, whether or not people actually like reading what you wrote, because if they don’t they usually won’t finish (unless they’re a teacher and have to grade it). Sticking to a “loose” style is a legitimate way to get the creative juices flowing.


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