life as i know it

"...everything in life is writable about if you have the outgoing guts to do it, and the imagination to improvise. The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt." -Sylvia Plath

Monday, November 14, 2005

creativity vs. technicality

I have loved to write for as long as I can remember. Poetry, journal entries, random fragmented thoughts and philosophical analyses…this has always been an outlet for me, the one thing that can bring me sanity and peace in the midst of chaos. So in my present predicament, I am finding myself struggling to hold on to that passion for writing, to refrain from the cynicism and bitterness that is threatening to take hold.
Doctoral school seems to have that cynical and bitter influence on so many people in so many facets of life. Writing is the facet in which I have found my current struggle here. It’s not that I mind writing the papers. On the contrary, I often enjoy the actual writing. It’s the rules and limitations and technicalities that are battling it out with the creativity inside of me. And it is really only one class that leaves me with this disheartened view of writing. A class in which every paper I write is composed of a detailed analysis and interpretation of numbers and percentages, in which every paper must adhere to strict guidelines regarding the proper format and the proper organization and the proper interpretation. And I have difficulty with this. I have difficulty looking at numbers in the first place, much less trying to give meaning to them. I have difficulty finding something worthwhile to say about a person based on percentages. And I especially have difficulty understanding why in the hell this class is called “Cognitive Assessment”. The word cognitive itself implies thinking. And the resulting creations (papers) of this class are much more a demonstration of meeting someone’s expectations than they are about thinking. And though I understand that the assessments I am doing for this class are actually aimed at analyzing another person’s thinking process, the irony still does not sit well within me.
So as I write these technical papers that will be read by doctors and lawyers and school officials, I find myself hoping that my creativity will not become lost amidst the statistics. My creativity is one of the integral aspects of myself that drove me to the field of clinical psychology in the first place. If I lose it in the process of becoming a doctor, then I will never be the doctor I have always dreamed of being.


At 9:18 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

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At 7:07 AM, Blogger Jessie said...

I found your blog through a comment you left on a friend's blog--and you have a talent with words. This post I can especially relate to. As a creative writer in a Masters of English program the technical/theoretical/analytical approach to writing is enough to kill even the wildest of spirits. But your words have passion. I'm glad to know that I'm not the only one that feels that way. :)-


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