After reading the chapter about the types of claims and writing arguments in the English book, I think I may have made a realization. I write essays like I play volleyball – timidly.
I don’t look too intimidating, right?
I’m not saying that I write lightly on the page because I’m scared of hurting the paper, the problem is more with the point I’m trying make when I write. I take the middle-of-the-road approach and never really stake a stance. I write as if I’m trying not to offend everyone or contradict anyone’s opinion.
One of the reasons I can’t stand my wimpy writing is that I DO have strong opinions, but I don’t feel like I will be able to express them correctly. I worry that if I write down my real thoughts, but I don’t write enough to fully explain my position, people will not understand the point I was trying to make and say that I’m wrong. So I take the easy way out. I write in a way to make everyone happy, even though that’s not the point. I should be writing about new ideas that can transform the way people view the world, not just the same old things that everyone says. Even the name of my blog is “Float On”! I “go with the flow” instead of trying to go against the current.
Now you may be wondering how in the world I could relate this volleyball, right?
Well I can!
In club volleyball, I’m a timid player. I worry all the time on the court. I worry that I’ll hit the ball into the net, or that I’ll make a mistake if I try to block too aggressively. My teammates tell me to go all out and worry about mistakes later; the more important thing is to be aggressive. It seems like no matter how hard I try, my coach will still call me a “deer in headlights.” I know that sounds like a pretty bad thing to be compared to, but thankfully he didn’t call me milk toast. At least I’m pretty sure its not a good thing to be called milk toast. I’m still not too sure what he meant by that. . .
I guess this is milk toast. . .
Continuing on with the theme of aggression, I want to propose my solution to my timid behavior. To become more aggressive on the court and on the keyboard, the change needs to happen in my mind. As of now, my perception of myself is that I am the shy and timid type. If I want that to change, I have to start believing that I can hit the ball and I can write the argument I want to write. This may be easier said than done, but after a week of consciously making myself act more aggressive in practice, I had a breakthrough. All it took was one great hit, and I dominated the rest of the practice. My coach even commented on the noticeably better intensity from me.
Now that looks a little more aggressive.
If the same goes for my writing, then all it takes is one one great essay or blog make me a more confident writer with prominent opinions. The only way to get to that one great piece of writing is to keep on practicing. With continuous typing, one blog is bound to turn out with strong opinions.
One more important point that I wanted to hit in this post was that aggression does not mean anger. I’m not looking to be the type of volleyball player that yells at my teammates. I also don’t want to just rant or use insults when I write. I want the perfect combination of a cool, collected thought with apparent ideas that voice my true feelings.
I may not reach this high level of writing for a while, or I might never fully get there, but that will never stop me from trying.