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MIT student blogger Anastassia B. '16

Writing is difficult by Anastassia B. '16


Writing is difficult. It’s the last day in July.* I find it very easy to DO things, but writing is difficult. So, I have decided to write this all in one go in my remaining 47 minutes on the train, instead of postponing for another 47 days of drawn-out anguish at the accumulating height of the tardy-writing-mountain** I keep purposefully shrouded in the misty background of my mental landscape. Knowing me, it really is one or the other. Therefore, I apologize in advance for the scattered nature of whatever this is (a blog post? A stream of consciousness diary entry? The beginning of the transformative conquering of my sole remaining fear, writing, and subsequent soar into brilliant adulthood?). Who knows at this point? 41 minutes.


Soon writing season will be upon us. College and graduate school applications amidst the back to school drill. For my survival through this cold season, long and bleak like the emptiness of this blank iPhone note I’m typing into, I now see that, at this point, the best option is to use the remaining summer time to fall in love with the writing process. Okay this isn’t too bad. Right Anastassia? Sure, I guess it’s bearable. Aren’t you all about becoming more evolutionarily fit anyway? Yep, I do always say that. Isn’t that why you always try do physically challenging things, and push yourself? Yeah, I mean I try. Definitely when I’m not sleeping that is. So doesn’t writing fall into that category? Yep, I’d say it’s my single handed biggest weakness at this point. Shouldn’t you stop talking with yourself and talk to the reader? Oh god there’s a reader? That changes everything wait I’m not ready yet I haven’t planned what I’m going to say yet–Just go already! Gah, hi.

32 minutes.

Everything I’m late on, every mental clog I have, every nagging thought in the back of my head involves writing. I won’t detail the list here, but it’s why I’m not yet a clean slate for my upcoming senior year. Also I have no idea how in the world senior year happened. This recently came to my attention since as a Senior Blogger I get to read your blogger applications! And also according to a recent emaill, if I don’t blog, I will get fired before I read them. //omgwaitplzdontfiremeIpromise2writrfrmnaon

Since entering MIT, and especially over this last year, I have significantly, p<0.05, improved many skills. However this process is not without its growing pains, and, perhaps a complementary atrophy of other abilities. Actually, I’m a little surprised, or maybe not, that the phrase “complementary atrophy” came more naturally than, for example, “other qualities became worse.” Though I do admit to spending a few seconds wanting to write “deproved” for parallelism.

*Upon a quick re-read, I believe I wrote this sentence because I was trying to ease myself back into writing through a factual declarative statement. It worked. So that is my piece of wisdom, maybe to myself, from this post. Start small. To proceed, here is another:

I’m in Japan now. I’m writing this from the shinkansen train to Otsuchi with 8 other MIT students and the MISTI-Japan program manager for a weekend volunteer trip amidst all of our various research or internship programs.

I climbed Mt. Fuji recently, likely in preparation for this psychological coming of age hike. It was fun to say the least, so certainly this will be too. Maybe I’ll say more details later?

**I’m no longer sure this is a good metaphor. It’s more like an increasingly simmering volcano, or a once gushing rapid into which I’ve thrown a whole bunch of objects-mental difficulties that I’ve chosen to indefinitely store instead of tackle, and it’s really slowing my flow. And actually I really love all of nature so I’m not sure I want to equate writing with it… But maybe that is precisely what I need to begin my romance with it. Anyway, this probably doesn’t make sense.  I’m not sure it makes sense to me anymore. Unlike this post, good writing is concise and takes time, or at least a round of editing. But anyway, I will make the mistake of posting this instead of anxiously abandoning it, and therefore finally grow from this experience.

Okay forget metaphors, because I’m out of time and I should maybe say something concrete. The point is, I think, is that our brains are plastic. Neurons are always rewiring. So you can learn anything you want and change your habits and overcome your fears and become a better person and all that good stuff (all in only three weeks according to the literature) with the simple ingredients of sheer willpower and practice. So everyone let’s do fighting spirit and 頑張りましょう!

The mental mist has cleared




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