Academic journal article Human Architecture: Journal of the Sociology of Self-Knowledge

Penning the Sociological Imagination Writing about My Struggles with Writing

Academic journal article Human Architecture: Journal of the Sociology of Self-Knowledge

Penning the Sociological Imagination Writing about My Struggles with Writing

Article excerpt

Coming into my second year of college, the initial shock has worn off. Exams, stress, grades--all of it--become a norm for the average college student by then. I thought my own transition to college was rather smooth. Yet, one thing that never seems to change, something that has continued to follow me from high-school to college, is writing. Research papers, analytical essay, argumentative essays. I have always struggled with writing essays. Throughout the years it has grown to be a serious hindrance to my writing abilities.

In my first year of college, I remember writing an argumentative essay. It wasn't a particularly hard paper but I remember spending more than six hours working on it. I still can recall the frequent pauses in between my writing. Every time, I would try to draw myself away from finishing it. Although I did finish and did well, it was an excruciating memory. Rather than solving the problem, I have become used to facing it as a continuing mental challenge. Every single essay required hours of meticulous writing that challenged my mind.

However, sociology presents itself as an interesting opportunity to explore my difficulties in writing. Rather than continuing to endure another painful paper because of my writing problem, I can write about my writing problem from a sociological perspective. Using the sociological imagination, it is possible to link the difficulty in my writing to real social problems. What is interesting is that this isn't just another paper for a class. Writing about my writing difficulty could help me confront it directly and learn how to overcome my problem.

Immediately, I am able to illustrate the severity of my mental struggles with writing from this assignment alone. Though originally I was enthusiastic about the project, it has been several days and I have not even begun it. Procrastination is a funny thing; I always seem to find an excuse and justification for not doing it. Music, games, TV, almost anything can disrupt my concentration. Almost all my essays end up being typed at the last moment. So, why does this happen? I procrastinate all the time but eventually I still complete the essay.

Perhaps the issue isn't a matter of time management but rather my personal feelings and experience toward writing itself. To be honest, the mental and technical difficulties that I encounter with writing have become almost unbearable. The experiences of long hours, mental exhaustion, stress and insomnia have created a strong distaste for writing. However, I have always believed writing is necessary in the academic and personal worlds. Yet, these negative experiences have deterred my ability and self-esteem in writing. The poor level of confidence in my writing can be linked to my own self-presentation. I am constantly afraid that my writing skill isn't effective at all. Studies done on the behavior of procrastination show that the behavior is connected to one's self-presentation. "Protection of self-esteem through self-presentation has a role in why high trait procrastinators behaviorally procrastinate" (Bui 4). The study found that procrastination is a behavior that prevents the negative effects on one's self-esteem. In the self-presentation, the person wants to protect his or her own self-esteem from feeling shame and failure. Procrastinating delays those feelings. It is possible that I procrastinate because I want to protect myself from experiencing failure in my writing. However, procrastination has a limited effect. I cannot avoid writing my essay forever. Sooner or later I would have to write.

Once again, I want to emphasis the incredible amount of difficulty I face in writing. From thought to paper, process is often lost. I never have a clear structure in mind when I am writing. Pause after pause I would suffer from writing blocks. The entire process then becomes ridiculously slow. It would take me hours to complete a single page. When I would finally finish, the feelings of frustration and fatigue don't go away. …

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