As many of you know by now, I’m in college working toward my Bachelor’s Degree, majoring in English and minoring in Creative Writing. What most of you don’t know is that I am almost to the finish line, I almost have my degree. Just a few more requirements and that degree is mine! But right now there is an obstacle in my way, one that honestly has me scared- my Senior Seminar Medieval Lit. What does senior Seminar mean? It means that exams are optional for me (yay!) and instead of writing the usual three papers assigned throughout the semester, I have to write one HUGE paper, thirty-five pages to be exact, and then teach a class/do a presentation.
Normally writing papers comes naturally to me and I can get them written with very few problems along the way, but this paper is turning into a bit of a living nightmare for me. Thanks to my adviser/professor, I have a topic/theme for the paper, but here’s the scary part- my paper topic has NEVER been written by anyone, so every single connection I have to make myself and I’m really scared hat I either won’t be able to make the connections like I think I can or that I will run out of time because the paper is due in May, it’s now March, and I’ve been working a lot more lately because it’s our busy season and I just recently started my research… What was I thinking making this class my Senior Seminar class? And what was I thinking by picking this paper topic?!
I’m feeling really overwhelmed right now. And to add to this I realized earlier in the semester that after four straight years of academic writing that I’m tired of academic writing and I don’t want to do it anymore. When I go off to graduate school it will be for an MFA in Creative Writing and I feel that means there should be more of an emphasis on my creative writing and not my academic writing.
I don’t want to seem negative about this, but right now I feel really unhappy and overwhelmed by this whole thing, trying to figure out how to write this monster paper and pushing myself to do it while trying to balance my job, my creative writing, other projects I want to pursue and then the other parts of my life. I am so close to my degree, but I feel like this will be the thing that burns me out and makes me stop where I am not crossing that finish line.
So my question is- What advice does everyone have to keep me going with academic writing even though I don’t want to? How do I balance everything? And most of all- How do I conquer this paper before it conquers me? Any and all words of wisdom are welcome and appreciated!