It’s the end of reading week, I had three essays to write and I’m sitting here (evidently not writing an essay) with a few paragraphs of two essays written. Torn between procrastinating for the sake of it and genuinely disinterested, I realised the nerdy but brilliant reason I have been struggling; I am uninspired.
For any undergrads reading this, I do have the advantage of being a postgrad and therefore have three years of weekly essays to fall back on. After a year off, the adjustment to a big move to London and the freedom of a reading week (something I didn’t have at my previous university), the creative juices haven’t been forthcoming. Then I remembered – the biggest hindrance to a decent essay is the pressure to get the essay written. Here’s the trick:
Don’t write. Sit back. Think. Think some more. Then brainstorm something in a form which probably only makes sense to you (or maybe doesn’t even do that but you can find your great ideas in there somewhere).
The reality is; you’re going to have to write this essay. It’s probably not your first and it definitely won’t be your last. Make it interesting. Do you think something radical? Unsure? Run with it (as long you can reasonably back it up). Critique that leading academic, crack out some Brexit/Trump references: they’re your ideas, make them work.
You don’t want to read something boring, your tutor certainly doesn’t. Whether this is a formative reading week essay or a more important one later on – enjoy the process. We may not get as excited as all these crazy academics we surround ourselves with at LSE, but we were selected for a reason and we chose our courses for a reason. We also chose social sciences, so unless you’re an economist explaining an equation – take advantage of the ‘flexibility’ aka ‘no one really has the right answer anyway’.