“I found that if you have a goal, that you might not reach it. But, if you never have one, you are never disappointed.”
- Peter La Fleur, philosophizer and owner of Average Joe’s Gymnasium
My writing hardly (if ever) changes. The topics are usually constant: in fact, I’ve already done two separate papers on the Mets and bowling apiece—this semester. The sarcastic undertones sprinkled in my works are stalwarts as well. Even the grades hardly change as they vary from B+ (done the night before the paper was due) and C+ (done 30 minutes before the paper was due).
The writing isn’t fancy either; I avoid metaphors like I avoid The Big Bang Theory (similes are easier, and I could (and will) write a paper on that show’s awfulness). Also, as you, my astute reader may have noted, I’m in love with commas and parentheses, even though they may create run-on sentences and clutter my work (I can’t think of any other way to add those little quips I deem necessary for you to read ).
Before we advance any farther, I think it needs to be pointed out that holy shit; I had as many parentheses as I had sentences in those paragraphs. Go on, count them, I’ll wait. Now I can see why professors hate on my writing style.
Why do I write this way? Why do I feel the need to detach myself from my work so that I can later comment on it through parentheses? I didn’t know the answers to those questions when I started writing this paper, but I think I do have an answer: I’m afraid. I’m afraid that if I put my all into a paper that it’s going to be a disaster. I fear it won’t be good enough, it won’t be funny enough, etc. It just won’t be enough, period.
So I compensate by not doing enough on purpose. I refuse to commit to the paper just enough so that if it is good, I can take the praise, but if it’s not good, I can just tell myself (and my professors) that I could have done more. The practice is practically formulaic at this point, just like The Big Bang Theory (bazinga!). It’s actually pretty ironic that the most common praise I get from writing professors is how prevalent my voice is in my works, when I’m actually sabotaging myself from using my real voice.
That’s not to say I’m not me in my papers. If I was truly using a façade I would be way cooler than I actually am. I’d tell you completely untrue stories like that time I taught Elvis how to dance, or how I was an international ping pong champion, or when I accidentally exposed the Watergate Scandal. Nope, the real me is the one who just referenced an overrated film starring the voice of Woody from Toy Story and the lead detective in CSI: New York.
The real me is the one who avoids writing the way a normal person is supposed to write. When you get bullied for a majority of your adolescence, you actually believe you’re doing something wrong. You learn to keep your guard up, and not let people know the real you. Or maybe it’s just the overt cynicism I possess. When I see how my thoughts spill out onto the paper I just want to grab a towel and clean up the damn mess.
It’s not that I can’t articulate my thoughts properly; I can make the English language my bitch when I want to. You can look at my proposal, or I can show off the vast amount of literary swag I have at my disposal. F.A.N.B.O.Y.S. are just some toys, and tenses are practically another one of my senses. I possess more than just nouns, so an adverb is no errand to a guy who can throw down something as random as a gerund. I know the laws of the clause, and the functions of conjunctions, I have a cache of m-dashes, and a collection of interjections.
Moving on…since I was laying everything out there, I feel that my use of commas and parentheses, and the meta feeling they give off are crutches. They’re devices to keep myself from getting too attached to my own work. When something is broken though, those crutches are necessary, at least until the damage heals. Maybe when I become more comfortable and confident in general I’ll drop the commentary I add to my own paper (maybe). It looks like I’m making progress though; I mean I just used a metaphor two paragraphs ago! How exciting!
So I’ve opened up out of my shell a bit to try to explain why I write in a way that’s unusual, and now it’s time to close that shell. Besides, you all have other peoples papers to read still (yes, you poor souls trapped in my group have to read a few other people’s papers and Cheryl has to read all of them). Even with that epiphany and answering of the questions, I’m still not ready to commit to the paper entirely. So I’m copping out. Sorry I’m depriving you of the Disney-like ending where I finally change and marry the prince, but this is only one paper, and I have a girlfriend. Hell you may be glad the read is finally over, as this has the potential to be spectacularly awful (much like The Big Bang Theory).
 Footnotes? They’re impractical; what is this, a term paper? Besides, half the page would be footnotes 1-20. Every page.
 Also, before you say those quips aren’t necessary, that’s like saying the laugh-track in The Big Bang Theory isn’t necessary (also, more similes! Plus, how would I do a footnote in a footnote? This is wrinkling my brain).