Vincent Cheung

Vincent Cheung's Blog

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Wednesday, October 11, 2006

New writing strategy

I like blogging. Blogging requires writing. The words just flow. I voluntarily do this.

Academic writing, I hate. I procrastinate it. I get writer's block. Words do not flow. It's like trying to force Niagara Falls through a straw held up by a cow trying to balance on an exercise ball.

Some people say that they start a blog to improve their writing skills. I don't think that's working for me (not that that was a reason for me to start blogging). Sure, I'm writing more, but this is just conversational writing and I already e-mail and IM quite a bit using similar writing, tone, grammar structure, etc., and none of it is really translating to my academic writing.

The problem I think is that when trying to write a paper, thesis proposal, scholarship application, or some important document, I focus too much on the words and not enough on just getting the facts, ideas, and concepts across. I need to do the "quick and dirty" draft and just get the ideas on the page and leave the fancy terminology, equations, and figures for when I edit it, because it's easier to edit than it is to create.

So, here's what I'm thinking. If I can put myself into the mindset of blogging while doing "real" writing, then hopefully I can just spit the words out. I think that if I'm writing in this little text box without spelling and grammar underlining and tricking myself into thinking that I'm blogging, I can overcome the obstacles that prevent me from just writing.

Here's my simple two-step plan:

Step 1: Create a new blog
Step 2: When writing boring stuff, "blog" it instead of writing it

I'm not sure if this is going to work b/c I won't have the readership that I do for this blog, which pressures me to write, but it's all in my mind. Just gotta put myself in the right mindset and hopefully putting myself in a blogging environment will help.


Ms. Ly said...

i don't know what you're talking about. i remember specifically that one of the things i thought when i started to read your blog was that the way you wrote was NOT conversational. I mean, once in a while you get the "double-you tee eff" but generally, i find that your sentences are well structured and your tone and style actually more formal than conversational... is it just me? maybe i have a low standard. haha.

Unknown said...

"It's like trying to force Niagara Falls through a straw held up by a cow trying to balance on an exercise ball."

Cow balancing on an exercise ball? Or did you really mean Adam on said ball? Although I think that feat would result in a different kind of headache altogether :P

Bob said...

Conversational? No like way! You like use like the like most like formal like blog like diction like I like have like ever like seen. Like.

Bob said...

And like the show/hide comments thing doesn't seem to like be working for me. It's opening a like popup window like again.

Vince said...

It's like all your fault. You like told me about how my blog was like redirecting you to like the comments pop-up page and it was like Blogger's fault. So what I do is have it like pop-up the first time to like authenticate you, and then like, the rest of the times it like does the show/hide thing. I like don't have a better solution right now.

Do I like really say "like" a lot? Like, really?

Sarah said...

ya show/hide is a popup (at least in IE7...not sure if you support that yet :P )

you are not conversational in your blog. well i guess you talk like this in real life too :P but the rest of us dont. ok, maybe it's just me. i dont. dud.

Sarah said...

thought about this a bit more. maybe you don't feel like you are disseminating useful information via your academic papers? or maybe you just don't have the same motivation for fame, like the attention that you got for that alarm clock post... create a Digg or delicious popular for academic papers.

Vince said...

Hmmm... good point. I think I write in this blog like how I talk when giving a talk or teaching, i.e. disseminating useful information, and when I write academic stuff, I have a different mindset. I figure that I have a different audience and I try to adjust for it, and maybe that's what stops me from writing b/c I think that I have to sound more sophisticated and like, not use "like"...

Bob said...

It's not excessive. Its like just something that is like thrown in there every like now and then. Like you are speaking.

The show/hide thing should work the way it used to Dammit! Why do they have to change things all the time that work perfectly fine???

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