12.10.2011

On occasion, I find that I have to get into a “writing mood” in order to be able to put decent words to the page. Unfortunately, I’m not writing anything particular fun, and I’m definitely not writing something creative. I’m working on my seminar paper for my Medieval Literature course and, perhaps needless to say, getting into “the zone” to write this paper requires some serious mental contortion.

That said, I’ve decided to write myself into this current block of writing time by blogging. There is wisdom behind the idea of free writing to get the creative juices flowing, and though the final version of this particular paper won’t be the standard interpretation of “creative writing,” literary analysis does require some creative thought. So, do you want to know what I’m writing about?

In the 15th c. there was a morality play titled Mankind, and I am analyzing the (generally accepted) costumes of the play. Specifically, I am analyzing how the dramatic technique of costuming characters in a play affects literary interpretation of a particular moment. Which is, actually, a very interesting topic to write about. Except it is still an analysis paper, it is still worth 70% of my final grade, and it is still taunting me with elusive rhetorical strategies that are meant to help me present my analysis.

If you didn’t know, I am not particularly thrilled about studying literature academically. I know, you thought my being an English major in undergrad and my pursuit a Master’s in English meant that I was a complete academic nerd about literature, right? It’s a common misconception about me. Yes, I love to read. Yes, I love to have discussions that require me to think critically about books. But never have I ever enjoyed writing long papers about these two things.

And now you’re saying to yourself, “Bailey, no one likes to write long, critical papers about anything.” Well, that’s fundamentally untrue. In fact, most of my peers enjoy the academic approach to literature and deep analysis of lines within in a text. Heck, even I enjoy doing that, just not in relation to literature. I maintain that I am not a literature nerd. I am a writing geek, and I prefer to analyze the processes and acts of writing. I cannot wait until my rhetoric classes next semester because I will officially feel sane again for deciding to go to graduate school. I just first have to survive this last literature paper (at least, until I muster up the courage to take the third and final literature requirement).

After all this rambling, it is time to switch my brain from blog to word processor. My critical thinking won’t magic itself onto the page. Which is a real disappointment. I actually think if I could stop over-thinking this whole endeavor, and stop remembering that I’m quite inept at literature analysis, I might say something kind of clever about Mankind.

Listening to: Michael Buble radio on Pandora
Drinking: Ice cold Coca-cola 
Reading: Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson
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