Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Back To Black

I am writing a lot but I am not really writing at all. I consistently doubt my abilities again and again and again. I am always afraid of making a mistake. I am always afraid of getting something wrong. Then I remember that I am here for a reason and that I will succeed. That cheers me up until the next assignment is due and then I am sad all over again.

Is this what being a writer is about? Recognizing your flaws, over and over again. I want to command my words and be sure of myself and know everything about journalism now. I am not learning fast enough to catch my mistakes before they happen. I am growing but in a world where mistakes can cost you a lot and the stakes are high how do you not fail?

I learned that my commas are wrong and that I editorialize sometimes. I can’t presume anything but I can’t tell the real difference between presumption and writing with authority. I read the Washington Post and they write one way, but I am being taught to write another way. I am trying to find my flaws.

What I want to know is how do you know that you’re wrong before you make a mistake? I am tired of being scared to write real words. Saying the wrong thing is too much. How do I get better? How do I stop feeling so freakin’ behind? How do I stop feeling like everyone else is making it? 

I am not doing poorly, but I am not excelling. I want to excel, and it’s killing me that I stay up, work so hard and still do mediocre work.

Sigh. Sometimes blogging is the only way to free my mind. I say I’ll do it more and I don’t. Until next time, peace.


  1. Depending on the publication you write for, the Editor will want your work written a particular way and it changes with each Editor. It can be VERY frustrating when you're taught something totally contrary; I know the feeling. Just keep moving forward and adapt where/when necessary. You'll do fine :)

  2. Don't write FOR anyone, as unproductive as that sounds. Just write the way that comes naturally for you. After you do it enough - in your style, your way - you'll have been polished enough by those professors that you'll have perfected your own voice; not just regurgitated back the style you're thinking they want. I'm sure it has you pulling your hair out, but dammit you're there - that's half the battle! :-)

  3. I agree with both comments. The more you write in your voice, the better you'll become. I wish you nothing but the best. Your story keeps me inspired during my grad school process.

  4. @Assertive Wit, thank you for the support. This blog came out of ten minutes of sheer hell. My editor/professor is great and I am learning. I can't wait until I become an editor.

    @Brittni, I never actually thought about applying what comes natural to my reporting. We got an assignment back today and it seems like that is the problem. I was writing for the professor and not for myself. I need to chill out and have a glass of wine lol.

    @Miss DiceofCan, Awwwww! Thank you. Please don't let my bit of aggravation with this process deter you at all. I wouldn't trade this experience for the world. I am huge advocate for grad school, and journalism schools if your background is in something other than journalism.