Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Write What You Like!

Let’s say your professor hands out the prompt for the next writing assignment and, surprise! You can write about anything you want. Yeah, they put a few restrictions on it. Maybe it has to be a certain number of pages or include a detail about each sense or connect back to a book you’ve been reading in class.

Well, if you ask me, that’s the best writing assignment. But sometimes all of the possibilities can leave you overwhelmed. It’s understandable, everyone sometimes gets overwhelmed by all the possibilities a not yet started paper can present.

But maybe I’m not talking to you yet. Maybe you have the opposite problem. You don’t know what to write about.

Either way, hopefully this will help. You’re a person, not a robot. (Probably.) As a person, you have interests. These can help you either narrow down your options, or broaden them. Whether you like fly fishing with your grandfather or art, designing crafts to sell on Etsy or watching old movies, there’s something you enjoy that most other people don’t really understand. You might be a little disgruntled with me right now. You might be asking me how you’re supposed to write about your passion for fly fishing when you’ve got to somehow connect your essay with the book you read in class.

Yes, it might be difficult, but your love of fly fishing is probably a smaller part of your love for the outdoors. Analyzing the way nature is portrayed in a book or how the setting works is a perfect idea for an essay. You still have to worry about things like page requirements and how the setting actually does work in the story, but sometimes even that fragile connection can make you more energetic about your assignment.

You shouldn’t settle on writing a four page essay on something because it’s easy, when you’re not interested in it. It’s your paper to write; enjoy it. Be creative. Although it might be scary to hand in a paper where you compare the different sections of the book to a soap opera, sitcom and chick flick, it might get you a better grade. You’ll be so interested in the idea yourself, you just might fool yourself into doing more work. The research will feel less like work and more like an interesting scavenger hunt.

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