by Josh Vituszynski
I spent this past intercession on just about the last thing any right-minded student would want to do over break. I wrote an 80 page paper. You might ask, why did I imprison myself to the harsh confines of Microsoft Word during what should have been a month of freedom? Because I am working on a research project, and I spent the fall semester not only brainstorming, but also second guessing myself and my ideas. I continually hesitated to put words on the page because I was worried that I would not be able to handle writing a paper of such a large length. Going into the winter break, I knew I had to get a first draft together before the spring semester began. So, I decided to stop ruminating over my writing abilities and committed myself to writing what I needed to write. I decided that I needed to stop worrying so much about whether I was happy with the initial product. After all, who is totally happy with a first draft? If writing a paper is like shooting darts, and that final draft is the bullseye, then the first draft is target practice. Sure, it might be humbling to take those first few shots and nearly miss the target entirely, but most people cannot experience the gratification of hitting that tiny mark in the middle of the target without taking those first missed shots. Thus, over break, I swallowed my pride and wrote away. Some sections of the project seemed likes bullseyes from the get-go. Others, not so much. Nonetheless, I am far closer to a finished product with this current draft, rough patches and all. From this experience, I learned that writing requires the humility to dive in and work away, knowing that failure, setbacks, and struggle are ahead, but that these are all part of the uneven road toward what will eventually become a product worthy of pride.