I have a strange relationship with my writing abilities. The further I go in my education and earn more writing achievements, such as 'writing-on' to law review, the more I question my skills.
Writing has always been my thing, and I have grown accustomed to being complimented on my 'fluid' writing style. Yet, I believe that the growing expectations of others and even moreso, myself, leads to this self doubt. When my constitutional law professor reviewed my law review comment, he pointed out that I have a habit of using dangling modifiers. Although he told me that my piece was overall well researched and written, all I could think about were what other poor writing habits I had. Similarly, when I read a style manual and learned a new grammar rule, I questioned how many grammar rules I did not know. 'Tis the ridiculous curse of being a perfectionist.
I have realized that some of this doubt stems from the fact that legal writing is different from much of the writing that I have done in the past. I need to accept the fact that I still have things to learn in legal writing, and that does not make me an overall bad writer.
As I go back to school-- and more generally, enter a career primarily focused on writing-- I want to stop overanalyzing my own writing and doubting myself. I have never been the speediest writer, but I need to stop belaboring every word and expect that everything must come out perfectly the first time. That is what editing is for, and I need to do that more thoroughly. Moreover, receiving constructive criticism from others is a good thing because there is always more to learn and ways to improve.
In law school, they always stress how important writing is. Few people actually see courtrooms, but almost everyone spends a large amount of time penning documents. If this is what the next 40-50 years of my life is going to be, I better do well and enjoy it.
[Note: My ramblings in this blog are not indicative of the work I produce academically or professionally. I usually write these blogs right before I go to bed and do not revise them as thoroughly as I should.]