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Posts Tagged ‘writing’


For this week’s major writing assignment I have been asked to write a five page paper for my Jane Austen and the 18th Century course. As a graduate student I am expected to create my own topic and to bring in an additional source to analyze from outside the books assigned for class. To fulfill these two fairly simple requirements I decided that it would be interesting to compare Jane Austen’s Love and Friendship to Daniel Defoe’s Moll Flanders. The focus of my comparison would include the choice of literary form and how each main character’s style and “art” appeals to the sensibilities of their readers.

At the moment I have a decent collection of quotes and ideas of what I want to do with this paper but I am having minor difficulties with writing out an acceptable introduction to the whole thing. I have been informed many times that I don’t have to write the introduction before writing the body of a paper but my personal preference is to work my way through from start to finish instead of jumping around.

So, where to start? I know that during the 18th century it was difficult to survive as a woman unless you were connected to a man or some wealthy family–and even then a comfortable life was never guaranteed thing. But do I want to include this awareness in the introduction? Or, should I start with a much more direct attack at the 18th century conceptions of “art” and “sensibility” and how the written word was a method through which women of ill repute could use a certain degree of art in their writing in order to appeal to the sensibilities of their intended readers?

My gut is telling me to go with the second option–especially after going back and reading that last paragraph. Below will be my rambling attempts at an introduction to my paper:

In the struggle to survive on their own in a male and money dominated culture, women of the eighteenth century had limited morally acceptable choices–especially when their family’s social and economic status were taken into account. The primary choice for all was to find an advantageous marriage in which their money needs would be provided for by their husbands while they cared for the house and family. For those born into titled and wealthy families this expectation of matchmaking was a given and yet if a match could not be made those old maids in the making had the security of a home and yearly allowance. However, what about the gray area of social status given to those girls (soon to be women) who were raised within the sphere of the privileged families but held no claim to title or fortune? Their morally correct options could range from marriage like their better endowed peers to stepping down in station by becoming a governess or going into service in another household.

or

In the struggle to survive on their own, women of the eighteenth century often had to rely on the kindness of friends, family, and strangers depending on their social position—or lack thereof. Sometimes this reliance was wholly acceptable and received without any true art of persuasion or application to the sensibility of their relatives—as was the case of characters like Fanny Price from Jane Austen’s novel Persuasion. But, as made wholly apparent by the stories told by Laura from Love & Friendship and Moll Flanders in the novel that bears her name, not all women had the privilege of a wholly supporting adopted family combined with an honest steadfastness in “temper” to maintain them. Instead, these two women find themselves in more desperate circumstances in which their ideas of sensible necessity drive them to take certain unsavory actions in order to obtain monetary support of the lifestyle they felt was deserved. In their respective novels (or a collection of letters in the case of Laura), these two women attempt to explain the winding course of their lives as a lesson to their intended readers. These creations—supposedly penned by their own hand—represent the use of a written application of art in which appeals to the sensibilities of their readers.

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The hardest thing about writing as an English Major is learning, or in better terms, unlearning how to write. Ever since high school I have been programed with a ridiculous need to be able to sit down and just write the perfect paper from the start. This task is impossible and I have to unlearn the habitual need. I have to learn to love academic writing again and to let myself loosen up.

I need to let myself just free write on the subject until I sort out my ideas and then work on the paper from there. Drafts are good things and I need to embrace them rather than try to skip over them. If I can learn to unlearn the experience of writing as a pressure intensive experience then things will get a whole lot easier.

I am always saying that I miss the days when I could just write to write. Well, time to stop saying and force myself to change my mind. Writing is supposed to be fun and effortless. Who cares if I use poor grammar and sentence structure the first time around. Nobody will see the first draft and rambling except me (unless of course I do some more productive procrastination posts).

One, Two, Three, Write. That will be my motto now. Who knows what my fingers will click away onto the screen. Starting today I will work to unlearn the habit of pressuring myself to write an essay in one shot and learn to just sit and let any and all words pour out of my head and heart onto the blank page.

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Happy 2011 universe.

Going from one year to another doesn’t really feel any different unless you decide to make it that way. The only physical difference is that the Human Race is simply another day older and the number we write down on the top of our papers is 2011 instead of 2010. The concept of dates and time is really only a concept created and tracked by humans.

So, how I am going to make the change in year matter?  What will be different starting today?

Well, for one thing I will keep writing more often. Writing is a form of therapy for me and I simply enjoy doing it. Also, I really want to improve in my writing and begin to be less of a dabbler who only writes when the spirit takes me. I want to write when I consciously decide to do so and save myself the stress of not having the ability to write until the day before an assignment is due.

Secondly I want to work more on having a less stressed life. I promise myself now that I will take time each day to breath and take care of myself. I also promise that I will do my very best to take whatever the new year throws at me in stride. There is no need to ever get overly upset about things I can’t control.

I am deciding right now that, no matter what happens, I want the year 2011 to be amazing and so it will be. I will continue to grow spiritually, and intellectually.

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Posting more starting now


WordPress has started up a new page on the site to help bloggers myself become more motivated to post each and every day without fail.

I have said many times in past posts that posting each day something intelligent or at least thoughtful was a goal I had for this blog. So, instead of complaining about not posting, or apologizing whenever I miss out for a long period of time,I am going to try and post once a day every day. Or at leas attempting to. We will have to see what happens when I start classes again. Hopefully everything will work out and I will back into the pattern of writing blog posts when I wake up in the morning.

Therefore I’m promising to make use of The DailyPost, and the community of other bloggers with similiar goals, to help me along the way, including asking for help when I need it and encouraging others when I can.

If you already read my blog, I hope you’ll encourage me with comments and likes, and good will along the way.

Always,

Textwanderer

 

P.S. I did use some of the mission statement sample post for my mission statement in writing this post.

 

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My goal for today was to finish one of my three remaining academic-related papers before I turned 20 years old. Although I still have around seven hours until the miraculous moment of age change, I feel apprehensive. I am not sure if I will be able to complete what I have set out to do on time.

Yesterday I was sure it would happen but not my confidence has taken a small nose-dive.

Why do I feel less confident about successfully completing my second Religion paper before I turn 20? For one thing I only have 7 hours. Now that may seem like plenty of time but it really isn’t. 7 hours is nothing, especially when at least an hour of that time will be spent taking part in an event on Main Campus that I am supposed to help run. My 7 hours have now been cut down to probably around 5 when I add together the time the event takes, walking between main campus and my dorm (about at 10 minute walk) and settling down into writing, or even just sitting, at my desk.

I want to be done already. I am tired of writing paper after paper with hardly enough time or inspiration. What happened to those days when I could sit and just for fun write something semi-academic entirely on my own without worrying about the grade I would receive a week or so later.

Enough of my whining. I need to get writing and take a large bite out of my lovely 5-10 page paper for Religions in America. I already have 2 and 1/2 pages started can I make it 4 by 9:45pm when I have to head back to main campus.

Bring on the tea and music. It is time to be productive

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Good morning universe,

Today looks like it will be a beautiful and productive day for me. I finished writing and handed in my academic paper for British Traditions (a class I am taking for college). It is amazing how much more relaxed I feel now that it is done and out of my hands. I almost wish I could just sit back and have a lazy day with just a non-school assigned book. But, that can not happen. I must keep pushing along. I have another paper to write for religion that must be done by Friday and I need to start my third and final paper for British Traditions as soon as possible.

I realized earlier this morning that I haven’t really been making any serious posts but rather small blurbs on what is going on in my life. I feel a little bad for that because this blog is meant to be an exploration of different ideas. However, then I thought about that any person’s life is an exploration. If we stand back and look at events from a different eye and try to find meaning in everything valuable lessons can be discovered.

My quote for today will be:

Life is full of beauty. Notice it. Notice the bumble bee, the small child, and the smiling faces. Smell the rain, and feel the wind. Live your life to the fullest potential, and fight for your dreams.

I’ll write again soon,

Text Wanderer

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This semester I made the decision to relax and take more time to spend with other people and to be social while at school. So far that has worked fairly well for me. I haven’t really missed any deadlines and my grades haven’t suffered because I am currently maintaining A’s in almost all my classes and one b+.

If I were to compare last year to this year, I think this year I am much happier. I spend much less time hiding in my room or in the library and more time with my friends and growing as a person. I like the fact that I am no longer a hermit and that I am much more social.

The only problem with my less strict/study-based lifestyle is the guilt. I often feel guilty about going out and having some fun with my friends when I could use the time I have to get homework done ahead of time so that I don’t scramble at the last minute. I worry that maybe I am short-changing my education. What if I go out and have fun this night and the next night I’m not able to finish that paper I was putting off by going out to watch a movie?

I guess I shouldn’t let the “What ifs” bother me though. I need to just keep pushing forward and know that if I do choose to continue hanging out with my friends I need to better manage my time when I do sit down to do work. I will have to force myself to become focused and to get my writing and reading assignments done when I can and discipline myself to write on demand.

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