I have been ‘going to college’ since 1975, and I am not near finished with what I want to learn. There is , however, a price for that learning, and I am not talking about tuition. I have ‘paper anxiety’. Once upon a time it was ‘test anxiety’ but in my areas of academic interest, papers ARE the test of knowledge.
This means not only do you have to know something, you have to be able to write as well, and therein lies the problem.
Usually when you write, they tell you to ‘know your audience’. The audience for my papers is someone I have never seen, and sometimes only talked to once via a conference call. The audience doesn’t know me, and I don’t know them.
They also say ‘write what you know’; unfortunately, I am writing to show that I DO know, and I don’t know if I DO know until the reader of the paper gets back to me to tell me what I do and don’t know. Confused? Welcome to my writing world.
In my last class I wrote the most difficult paper I have ever authored. I followed the usual mantra of any writer going through the creative process “Be good, be good, BEGONE!” As I finished it, I thought it the worst thing I have ever written, but I think that about everything I write.
I got the paper back a few days ago. The grade? Doesn’t matter, I am already sweating the next two for the current course. Maybe I should just make a plan to graduate so I don’t have to go through this, but then who would I write for?