The First Paper Part One: The Loathing Stage

Hello again bloggers!

There's a lot going on in my world these days, and so I'm pumped to be sharing a bit more on the blog. If you find that I'm getting annoying, feel free to waste away the hours on YouTube.

I love the clip above! When I sit down to write, I almost always feel like that's how I start things out. The outside persona might seem calm and collected, but if you look closely enough you can see the rage boiling just beneath the surface as I pound my fist against the desk in frustration. This, as many of my writer friends will tell you, is the self loathing stage of the process.

I am hard at work on my first paper back at Seminary. It's the last assignment due in my New Testament intro course, and I really, truly want to knock it out of the park. Not just for the grade, but because writing has always been one of my strengths, and I want to make sure that it remains one of my strengths. In other words, there's pride on the line here.

It's not a horribly difficult paper to write, only a 5 page book review. The book in question is The Real Jesus by Luke Timothy Johnson, which sets out to explore whether the historical-critical method of study is the best way to approach the "real" Jesus, or whether there's a better alternative. I just finished the book yesterday, and so am now ready to write the paper.

I'm four pages in, and I'm trying a new approach as I go. Like the terror threat level, after I write each paragraph I am assigning it a color. Red means that I am most likely going to re-write all of this section. Orange means it's not quite red, but it needs some touching up. Yellow is pretty good writing, it just needs grammatical changes and editing. Green is ready to turn in to the professor. With four days left to write, I'm seeing a lot of red, a tiny bit of orange, an even tinier bit of yellow, and absolutely no green. The threat level is high.

But it will come. The hardest part about the loathing stage is realizing that there is in fact good writing underneath all this crap that is currently occupying my computer screen, and that with time and patience I can chisel away at it and bring it to life. Friday and Saturday are do or die days, and so I will only allow panic if I am still in the self loathing stage then. But knowing that I have a meeting with my professor in 30 minutes where I will show her where I am so far, I have a feeling the self loathing phase is going to stick around a bit longer...

More on this to come. Thanks for following along!