The title might make you think I'm going to start talking about genres, but that's not where I'm headed. One of the classes I have left involves a huge senior project. The very first portion of that project is a technical writing "class". I put class in quotes, because really the project is 3 "classes" that together form my capstone. Anyway, my project involves setting up a fictional dentist office with a network, including hardware, software, any training, security, etc. One would think that since I am at least a halfway decent writer, I could blaze through this. Add to that the fact that I'm already working in the IT industry (and have been for over 15 years), and you'd expect I could really blaze through this.
Alas, none of this is true. While I have lots of experience (both theoretical and practical) setting up networks, technical writing is something I abhor. It's like torture to expect me to do this kind of work. I'm not exactly sure why this is either, since I know I already have the know-how. It got me to thinking though, about what I like to write and what I don't like to write. If you were to ask me to crank out some poetry, I would be hemming and hawing all day long and maybe get one stanza down. But if I were allowed to just tell a story, I imagine I could get along just fine. There is also the problem that this is a graded assignment, so there's a little bit of pressure there as well. In my mind, I guess I envision it to be similar to a critique circle, except that the graders are holding hot pokers and I'm strapped to an interrogation table. So how do I overcome my angst with writing a style that I'm not comfortable in? That is the question that plagues me today. I have a very easy-to-follow template provided by a professor, but I just have been unable (or unwilling) to type the first word. How do you deal with writing outside your comfort zone? How do you change your mindset for a moment so that you can still write with the same energy and excellence you display in other works? I haven't come up with an answer yet, but I guess I'll just have to start with one sentence and go from there. Here's hoping my muse can quiet down and get to work.