Sunday, April 08, 2012

To Write.

I recently endeavored to complete twelve weeks of serious goal-setting and, more importantly, following through of said goals. I chose four goals using a work book type journal thingy by Seth Godin who took his cues from the goal setting master Zig Ziglar. I won't yet privilege the public to these four goals. But I'll let you in on one of them, writing.

One of my goals is to write. Just write. In college I majored in chemistry and generally scoffed at any majors that did not house in the science buildings. I would much rather complete five math problems, multiple choice tests, and hours in the lab than actually have to write. I didn't understand why students would spend thousands of dollars on studying the nuances of literature, writing, or communication when the hard sciences lured promises of an actual income after four years in a liberal arts college. That was until I decided I had had enough of the lab, didn't want to pursue a PhD in science or medicine, and decided that what I really wanted to do was to become a therapist. (Yes I ended up spending thousands of dollars to end up working in a non-profit living below the poverty level, then going to grad school. Feel free to applause the irony.)

A couple years after I graduated with a degree in chemistry (I wanted to pursue material science), I plunged into a world of writing and feeling. What the *%$# is this? Quite the opposite of the sterile, rigid, and black and white nature of the lab.

I always thought I was a bad writer, which in retrospect was perhaps why my aversiion to the humanities was so strong. I told myself I was a bad writer and good at math and science. I loathed the days when any sort of educator would return a paper chalk full of red pen denoting my numerous failures. After spending hours procrastinating and finally handing in a paper, I rarely revisited the words I wrote. I anxiously awaited the score scribbled on the first or last page, usually accompanied with a few remarks that showed the professor or T.A. had actually read my work. I filed the hard copy away avoiding any further interactions with the work,

What I discovered in graduate school, however, was that I actually enjoyed writing. And I actually appreciated what the graders had to say. I appreciated the subjects I once loathed and realized I wasn't really the terrible writer I believed myself to be. Since I graduated, I have not written anything but a slew of emails, procedures, and patient related documents. I've dreamt of someday writing a book or publishing a research paper but put that on the back burner until I'm "more seasoned" or "experienced" in my field. When my little goal journal politely asked me to consider what I wanted to focus on, I decided to revive my once hated, then loved, and finally ignored task of writing.

I initially entitled this entry "My Dog." Seriously, before I entered any text into the main section I wrote "My Dog." I have not written anything about my dog as you can tell. Not sure how I got into my history of writing after entitling this post "My Dog" but here it is. I guess I will have to tell you more about how my dog is the best alarm clock tomorrow.

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