The New Semester Ramp-up Is Killing Me

Fresh off of a 4.0 semester, I thought I had this whole thing covered. Little did I know that the 45 day break between semesters would cause such horrible atrophy in my scholastic mind, that it would take nearly a month to get back into the swing of things.

I knew it would happen, which is why I planned on doing Java over the break, why I was hoping to have completed two or three major house projects, and not to have spent the majority of my free time lounging around, watching television and getting back into the terrible habit of playing Minecraft at every opportunity. None of my major projects were completed, I did very little programming, and I did, in fact, spend quite a bit of time watching television and playing Minecraft. “Laziness is a secret ingredient that goes into failure. But it’s only kept a secret from the person who fails.” –Robert Half.

How right he is. I had no idea, and I’m scrambling to get back into the game. I think I’ve got it for Trigonometry. Mythology is a cake walk (thank god), and while Java is a lot of work, it’s not new learning for me, so it’s easy. As always, the English class is the beast. Lots of research and writing, and now there’s also analysis. I like this last part the best, but it’s new and all new things take time to master.

I came over here to write about something, and ended up writing this instead. Obviously this was more important and needed to get out, because I have no idea what the other thing even is anymore.

Learned the hard way: Tips for succesful writing

Perhaps this will end up being another series of articles for my blog, which I mostly say since I really only have one tip in mind at the moment. It’s something that I’ve learned about myself, and find it useful as well as frustrating. So here it is

When I write, I find that the first thing I write in any given session tends to be short, disjointed and generally not that great. This is the frustrating part of it. The good news is, once I’ve written whatever it was, I almost always go on to write other things, and they are invariably better than the first one. The advice I’d give here, if you experience the same issue, is to write something unrelated to your important project, and then move on to the main event. It’s a lot like an athlete stretching before her event. If you go in cold, you might not perform as well as you would want or, even worse, get a cramp and be unable to complete your event. It’s the same for writers. We have to prepare, and we all have different ways of doing so, or we could end up with a mental cramp, aka writers block. Anyone who’s had a rough case of that, knows it’s pretty awful.

What to do with those cast-offs? In some cases, it’s out there on the internet, but if you’re stretching your writing abilities before breaking into the real project, you can keep them to yourself, or take a look at them again later. Maybe you wrote something worthwhile, and it just needs a little fine-tuning from your agile, creative mind once it’s really ready to work.

I hope that helps someone. Writing it down has made it more real for me, and hopefully I’ll start practicing what I preach a little bit more.