The Joys and Discomforts of the Daunting Task We Call Writing 

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Ernest Hemingway once said “We are all apprentices in a craft where no one ever becomes a master.” This quote rings true to my writing skills as I’m nowhere close to being a master. I constantly struggle with writing about things I’m unfamiliar with, and oftentimes I struggle to write about things I’m familiar with. Writing has never been easy for me and I constantly struggle with an array of different things, but a skills analysis helps lay out the good, the bad, and the ugly. Since I love to talk, things like content development and invention comes easy to me. However, comma mechanics and a professional tone are amongst the top of the very long list of things I struggle with in writing.

As a public speaking enthusiast, I’ve never had a hard time developing content. Finding the right words to say, making a point, or persuading people are all tasks that I can do. Therefore, converting that into a paper is not difficult for me. Thus, making content development one of my strengths. Sometimes, I can struggle to get started. Once I begin to brainstorm and get the ball rolling, things just flow easily.

Writing out a list of things that I struggle with would be about four miles long, so I’ll make it concise: cohesion, organization, and transition. The ability to have a sound and solid transition with the correct organization and flow is a challenge for me. This comes from reading scholarly articles that have been perfected with a perfect sound and flow. Then, when it comes to my writing, it seems unprofessional and I sound illiterate. This point alost forces me to reflect on a time that I was in my sophomore year of high school, writing a paper about the harmful effects of smoking on the human body. It was a health science class, and we all could choose a topic to write about. Of course, I chose the one topic that I thought would be simple to write about.

However, little did I know that there was a lot more to unpack about smoking than I expected. After doing research and beginning to construct my outline, I realized there were words that I didn’t understand. Being the lazy high school student that I was, I chose to continue writing and formed a paper that made me sound extremely uneducated. While I had the ability to tell you about the effects of smoking, I wasn’t able to be specific and talk about each specific disease, making me seem illiterate. Since I couldn’t comprehend my own writing, I looked unlettered and raised the question of plagiarism.

Telling a story in writing is also difficult for me as I can’t find any words to say other than the word “then”. Being able to talk about a process or a timeline of events without being repetitive is not easy for me. Giving directions in writing about a lab process, how to execute a task, or facilitating an activity is a struggle. I can never find the right words to say, and sometimes I can write about things that will only make sense to me.

In high school we were given a prompt to write a detailed description about our daily routine. As expected, I started with waking up, turning off my alarm, and getting out of bed. When it got to the section in the writing of talking about my after school routine, I felt as if I had ran out of words to use. If I can improve my transitions and flow of words my writing will improve. The ability to write with ease and still have a strong flow with great transitions will help any paper sound more professional. Reading papers that have these aspects make things clearer and easier to understand.

Something else I have an issue with is using a vast range of vocabulary. I feel like I use the same big words over and over again when I should be changing it up and broadcasting a stronger vocabulary. If I could use a wider range of words, it would make the paper sound more professional. I’m able to develop good content and portray it in the right way as far as organization, but I struggle making it sound professional. I have a hard time using the appropriate vocabulary for the appropriate audience and relating the material to the audience. This comes from me having a lack of practice with this, as well as no serious instruction.

In relation to vocabulary and a professional tone, I’m not great at finding the right balance between personal stories and evidence to form a strong argument. Before coming to the university, I would write and have too much evidence without enough personal opinion, or too much opinion and not enough evidence. I can recall a time in high school biology when we all wrote papers on a contemporary issue.

Being an agriculture advocate, I chose the organic versus non-organic discussion topic. I wrote about production in both sides, how they each play into the agriculture industry, and how they impact markets on a global level. I found research evidence, had my own personal opinion, and was able to use quotes from professionals in both sides of the argument. However, my own personal opinion ended up getting in the way. I went off on a tangent about people being uneducated. While I still threw in evidence and personal experience, my opinionated rant was too one-sided making me lose credibility to the audience.

The documentation of sources is an intricate task, one I struggle with to this day. Research paper after research paper has helped me better understand this, but my efforts always fall short. I haven’t had much help in doing this, and my eleventh grade research project is a prime example. My class was given the freedom to research any topic they chose. I picked how dairy farming has changed, hoping to shed light to the class on the industry. After doing research, creating outline notes, and finishing the paper, I was prepared to document my sources. The first challenge I had with this was source organization. How do I add them in? Do I do them at the end of the sentence? What if all my information in a paragraph is from the same source?

I had so many questions that went unanswered. When I was finally able to figure out the correct way for placement, I continued with that. The next big struggle was how to properly cite them. I had been taught one way, but there were people in the class doing them a different way. I met with my aunt, who is an english teacher, and she taught me a completely different way! All of the different types of documentation confuses me, and I struggle to decide which way is the best fit for the writing type.

Some other, more adjustable things I struggle with include strong introductions and conclusions, and the correct use of commas. I always find myself struggling to be intellectual and engaging in the beginning of my work, then powerful or intellectual at the end. If I could find a balance between those two, then I could become a better writer. With commas, I struggle to decide if I should finish the sentence or continue with my thoughts. I have lost at least 100 points throughout high school due to my comma use.

From now going all the way back to the start of sophisticated communication, writing has played a key role in portraying messages. Safety messages, show scripts, resumes, the list goes on. Every successful person has relied on the brilliance of communication for a multitude of reasons. Making it through high school, getting into college, and maintaining a strong grade point average are all effects of being a good writer. While I’m closer to the side of being a subpar writer, my efforts in writing are obvious. I can make and defend a point as well as develop great content, but my cohesion and vocabulary needs work. I’m excited to grow throughout college, and I’m looking forward to where writing will take me. I mean, Jodi Picoult did say “You can always edit a bad page. You can’t edit a blank page.”


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The Joys and Discomforts of the Daunting Task We Call Writing . (2021, Apr 19). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/the-joys-and-discomforts-of-the-daunting-task-we-call-writing/

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