Friday 6 March 2015

Message: Troubles When Writing (Posting An Old Blog Entry Draft)

Dealing with writer's block
Image from
Do you ever look back how what happened in your past and see how you write? I was looking at my drafts of this blog and found this entry which I wrote dated 18th Jan 2012 before I was admitted to Master's Degree programme. It is funny now looking back at a time which made me feel uncertain about the future, I still feel that uncertainty now, just not about admission. Recently I have completed one 2000-word assignment in less than 5 days, and I was managed to do this because I know what I have to write and I am familiar with the topic. Here on this blog though, I am starting to have the writer's block I mentioned below. Academically, I am reading more, but  reading less about the world does make me less creative.

Anyway, I don't want to waste the following post so I insist on sharing it. Although it might not be relevant any more, it still serves as a nice timestamp.

If you have been keeping an eye on the time that I have been updating my blog, I haven't been keeping up with the schedules lately. This is due to the fact that I am actually writing something else.

When I write my blog, I can go on forever without stopping, and words come easily and quickly, straight from my head and my logic flows smooth like the flowing river, because I know very well that I am doing this not for myself, but for you guys. Like my student Godwin said in his email for me, I love what I do, I love to share. I know very well that I will write well. If you send me essays for corrections, I will know exactly how to make it sound better.

The story is completely different when I have to do something for myself, which I hate, I get writer's block. I can't seem to think of anything! The more I care about it, the least I can write. I guess many of you have had the same experience as well.

Apart from getting writer's block, another challenge is to think out of my own definition of "perfect".

Last year, I spent almost a year writing my personal statement. I spent month after month preparing, self-reflecting, researching, writing, cooling, rethinking, rewriting, modifying... making them look perfect for submission. When I pulled them out from the folder two weeks ago and read them again, they looked like trash!

This year, I only spent like a week to rewrite everything, which I think is a miracle, and I also think they look great (not perfect this time), but who knows, maybe after a year, they might too look like garbage? It is really difficult to break out from one's frame of thinking.

Then shouldn't I have spent more time on cooling them down, think them over and make more changes to them before submitting? I can't, because I am afraid that the seats for the courses may be filled before I even submit my forms. You see, they begin interviewing in December and they may even finish the interview before the submission deadline. I had to hurry. But excuses or not, I think that "chop-chop, submit quick" in my head got me to overlook my errors in the application form -- now I have 2 full-time job instead of one because I forgot to put an end date on my ex-full-time.

Nice going, Locky!

I double- and even triple-checked my form of course, but sometimes, even making 100-tuple checks is simply not enough to spot the error, ask the computer programmers and they will agree. What's worse, the admission board might even regard me as not giving a damn about the application and filter me out at once.

I started getting these dreams about me sitting on a chair in front of 3 interviewers with no face, who were asking me how I could possibly not take a blind bit of notice, and I had to explain why I made such stupid mistakes.

So silly, right? I might not even get an interview. But guess I have to plan early, for either full-time or part-time mode will greatly affect my monthly income and I need to know how to arrange my life then.

Master's degree classes are usually held in the evenings, which means I will need to relocate my working time to other days in order to keep my contract. If not, I will have to switch to part-time. And I suppose all of you will be comparing my salary with those Star Tutors on newspapers, well, the truth is, it will take about a hundred years for me to catch up with their annual salary.

Life is only going to get tougher no matter what, but I will boldly face it.

Just one final complaint, why is it that the Trinity CertTESOL teaching certificate which is widely recognised around world not being seriously considered in Hong Kong?

to keep an eye on sth/sb -- to watch or look after something or someone
logic flows smooth like running river -- (simile) meaning quick and smooth
writer's block -- (n)[U] a condition, primarily associated with writing, in which an author loses the ability to produce new work or experiences a creative slowdown
chop-chop --exclamation informal used to tell someone to hurry
overlook-- (vb)[T] to fail to notice or consider something
nice going -- (if sincere, means "good job"); (if sarcastic, means "bad job"), hereby the latter.
100-tuple -- (n) from n-tuple, means 100 times.
not give a damn about -- offensive used as a way of saying you do not care about something, especially the annoying things that someone else is doing or saying
not take a blind bit of notice -- UK informal  not to pay any attention


Writer's Block @Wikipedia