When I first started this blog, I was in the process of trying to complete my MFA thesis, a book of short stories. The more I wanted to write, the less I was able to write. I waited for inspiration to strike, but it never did. I felt I had failed as a writer, and as a human being. I started this blog as an outlet to let my writing out because the thesis process seemed to be restricting it. I thought that if I wrote for others instead of myself, I’d have an easier time writing.
Through this blog, I gave advice I didn’t always follow myself, but should have. I posted my thoughts on writing, and offered motivational quotes and feedback. I even started offering writing prompts, which I had picked up during graduate school. I found myself becoming a writing mentor to some friends, giving them assignments or critiquing their writing, when my own needed help as well.
Now, almost four months after starting this blog, my thesis is finally done. It was approved in less than a week and sent out for printing last night. I’m finally free of the stress, although I know I can never look at it once it arrives, in fear of finding a million mistakes I hadn’t noticed in my rush to meet the deadline. I changed as a person since starting this blog, from someone who never thought he’d make the thesis deadline and was doomed for failure, to someone who not only made the deadline, but learned about writing, and himself, in the process.
I know there are others out there suffering the same block I did. They want to finish their thesis, but don’t know how. There’s a mental block keeping it from happening. A sort of fear about what happens after the thesis is finished. My colleague Vanessa Jubis calls this the writer’s slum. I think that’s a good way of describing it. This slum caused me more stress than I would have liked, and a rush to submit my thesis without being able to give it one last proof read. Of course, I need to remind myself that no thesis is perfect; that no writing is perfect. But, as all writers know, we’re our own worst critics.
This ‘slum’ really isn’t worth it. All it does is make life more difficult, and stretches out the thesis process longer than it should take. So, once again I’m telling you, no matter how much you don’t want to, force yourself to write. Only good can come out of it. For every bad sentence, there will be three good ones. A thesis will never be perfect, so force yourself to finish it, and move on to bigger and better things. Don’t let the fear of what happens next stop you from getting the job done. Only good things can come out of a completed thesis and a new degree. Prolonging it will only make things worse. Think positive and anything is possible.
The Accidental Blogger