A few weeks ago I posted about trying out some new learning opportunities. I took the plunge and signed up for the Personal Essays class I mentioned and it started last week.
My first set of class materials showed up on Wednesday. I had been checking my email all day waiting for it, so eager to get started. I read through things, read about my classmates. It was all good.
Thursday I started on my homework. The discussion questions were simple enough. But then I had to start two essays. Seemed like no big deal... But it was. I didn't know what to write about, couldn't get anything started that I liked. It was a miserable feeling - the start of panic.
Friday I went to one of my favorite writing spots, spent some time just relaxing, getting some other thoughts on paper and then BOOM - I had intro paragraphs for 4 potential essays. Ahhh. I could feel the panic ebb away.
We were out of town for the weekend, so Monday night was my first chance to go back through those fabulous introductions and narrow them down to two for my homework due tonight.
After a few days, they are not so fabulous. I'm afraid they are too-much "navel gazing" and not enough universality. A good essay is one people can connect with, even if they haven't had the exact same experience. The panic is back, and rising.
Writing is getting harder. I wonder if I am trying too hard - or not hard enough.