Prior to this course, I studied almost three years in college. Yet it wasn’t until I started studying for English I that I was reminded of the relationship one has to essays. Oh essays… I’ve always preferred them over reports, as they give me more space to develop my writing abilities. However, there is a downside to essays; you get married to them.
Even those of us who have yet to encounter the wonders of marital life are well familiar with its memes. Did you know that the word for poison and the word for being married is the same word in Swedish, for example? Yes… there are moments when you’re soaring high up in the sky, fueled up with the hormones or whatever is at work when your significant other flatters you. There are then the other moments, those that forces you to lock the door to the bedroom and scream “leave me alone!”. But you know that no matter what, you are utterly and completely stuck in this bondage. And that my friends, is exactly the relationship one… or at least I… have with essays.
At times it feels like “oh man, I’m so brilliant! This essay is going to be legen… wait for it… dary!” Then there are times when all you really want to do is run away from the computer screen. You don’t even want to look at the damned nuisance! Unfortunately, there is no way for you to get rid of it; you will be stuck with it… not till it’s finished, but till you have handed it in. The worst essays are those that come back to haunt you, just like exes.
What you do the moment you decide to take on the task of writing an essay, is thus saying yes to it. The first words that you write commences your journey as husband/wife and essay. So how then to handle this impossible situation? What if you didn’t want to be married in the first place? Writing an essay is unfortunately an arranged marriage… unless you’re extremely passionate about the topic you’re going to write about… in that case it’s a child’s play.
But if you like me have this frustrating relationship with essays, I have some advice for you that I recently discovered works… well not perfectly but at least better than giving up! I not only have a book review and a literary essay due on Monday, I also have a grammar and translation exam. So basically what I’ve been doing is that I’ve been switching between these three. Whenever I feel like I’m not going anywhere with one of the essays, I turn to the other. If I feel stuck there as well, I start prepping for the exam.
This is, in a sense, no different from procrastination. What I mean is that what we do when we procrastinate is something else. We want to stop thinking about whatever is clogging our brains and focus on something else for a while. Procrastinating is not relaxing, unless you really are lying down or sitting down doing nothing. So if you like me have more than one deadline, switch! Trust me, you’re not going to get anywhere merely by staring at your essay. You’re not either going to get anywhere by procrastinating. However, by switching to another subject you’re at least getting something else done. When you later return to the essay/s, you will be able to produce a few more lines (otherwise you’re screwed and I can’t help you :-/).