Writing Essays In English Is Really Hard

Writing Essays In English Is Really Hard-58
Go for a run, mow the lawn, chase your cat, do something to get your body moving, and your mind relaxed. Maybe take a bath, get a massage, have sex, anything physical and positive.

Go for a run, mow the lawn, chase your cat, do something to get your body moving, and your mind relaxed. Maybe take a bath, get a massage, have sex, anything physical and positive.If you get into the activity enough I bet you’ll have a moment when your body is finally happy enough to let your mind do its work. Yes, alcohol is writing’s seductive little mistress.No one performs well without easing muscles and emotions into place. Sometimes responding to e-mail works because hey, that’s a kind of writing. Maybe revise something old and unfinished to get warm. Not that I know how to fill them, but what might good section headings be?

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A well timed shot of whiskey can work wonders for the jittery, neurotic mind.

It’s the shock to the system that works for me, so when I can’t start, there are alcohol free alternatives to get things flowing: a cold shower, an underwear clad run up the driveway, a shot of espresso, a peek at my naked wife, the list goes on. By this I mean I created a word document named “My Novel”, hit save and then got drunk with friends.

I’ll go and go until I get so pissed off that I decide it’s less painful to write something real than it is to watch myself type this idiotic phrase forever. This essay started when someone sent me a link to this essay on When you can’t get started, which you might like, but I had trouble with.

We always have something to say: we’re just not always brave enough to say it. Halfway through I had so many ideas I jumped into a blank page and didn’t stop until I had a draft of much of this essay.

Like a weightlifter out of his class, a writer with a blank page needs to lighten the load. I’m partial to the ridiculous[1], so for me it’s often Papaya, Pomegranate or Throat-warbler-man-grove (If you’re thinking that’s not a word, go back two paragraphs). Imagine yourself as a recording device, writing down the radio broadcast of some other person who happens to live in your head. In a pinch, or if you’re a loner, talk with your dog. If you know a writer friend, be writer buddies, available by phone to help each other get started. Opinions come easy to me, but some days I’m as indifferent as the wind.

In the grand tradition of lists and books of hacks, writing hacks are clever little actions that give you leverage and put the dynamics in your favor. If you think this is weird, write about why it’s weird (See: you can’t lose – there’s always a way). To get started I’ll read things that I can’t stand, express opinions in violent opposition to mine[2] and, when pressed, are written so poorly my eyes burn straight through the pages.This means when people can’t start they’re likely imagining the polished precision of the finished work.That vision makes the clumsy junkyard that all beginnings must be, impossible to accept.And I’m always ready to leave the list, and my plan behind, if I find a sweet spot: the list is a tool, not a contract.I have dozens of essay ideas in various states of list form, in a Moleskine, slowly growing until they’re ready. My wife is an artist, and for years she’s worked on two paintings at the same time, switching between them. When she’s hit a wall on one project, the second project is a godsend: it’s an escape that’s still productive.I’ve forgotten A’s particular horrors, and jump in, possibly over the hurdle that seemed impossible before. I can’t write if my body isn’t happy and my body feels happy when it has been used: it likes to run or lift or almost anything.So think physical: let your body get out the stresses that block your mind.Eventually your mind will hit thoughts on the topic itself and, presto, you’re on your way. Since you can’t get “converse with a friend” block, call up your buddy and talk. A paragraph of outstanding tripe is intellectual smelling salts.Get their opinions on whatever you’re writing, or throw them a bit of yours. It puts me on my feet, sticking and jabbing like Muhammad Ali, raving and ranting on the page.While it’s true that good voice, tone, rhythm, ideas and grammar are essential to good writing, they’re never introduced all at once.I promise you, the first draft of Strunk and White didn’t follow Strunk and White. Anyone who wrote yesterday can write today, it’s just a question of if they can do it to their own satisfaction.


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