One of my New Year’s resolution is to write more on my blog, to keep honing my writing skills. I have noticed that studying in a seminary where we’ve to write many position papers, which basically outlines what our positions are on often difficult topics, has caused me to be more diffident with my writing.
Lecturers with high comprehensive skills and expectations have torn down hard worked papers as being incoherent. Positions I was most confident of were shaken down with a few pointed questions in perspective. The entire learning process in seminary left me with a deep realisation that I truly do not know much to ever be certain I know anything without deep back-breaking research and analysis to give evidence to my opinions. And even then, it took a far greater level of skills, beyond where I actually was, to synthesise and integrate all the knowledge into an adequately articulate and eloquent arguments and opinions.
So my confidence in my writing skills has regressed significantly. Every time I felt I should write something, whether personal or over a particular topic, I found myself hesitating at its (my opinion) relevance and was overly conscious of making painfully ignorant opinions over anything at all. And I would shut down from the fear of failure that was exacerbated from my lack.
It’s of course more than just about writing. Seminary studies was to me about deconstruction and suggested reconstruction of my self, at multiple levels that was not just academic but included the very core of my identity. The process of deconstruction brought about a loss of confidence, a loss of voice, a loss of inner compass, which admittedly could have been built on a lot of ignorance and some wrong world views and mindsets, so good riddance to some of the loss.
An example on what I mean about being deconstructed: I would sometimes revisit television dramas or movies I once enjoyed so much before seminary, to find myself now appalled at its overtly negative, sexualised and violent narrative themes and aghast at how I had once lapped it all up. I now have very definite ideas what I will be influenced by through what I will and won’t watch, the former a very much small list. I’ve also found my thought process and convictions in other significant areas (yet would be too much to touch on here) changed to the point I can no longer make life decisions I once easily conceded on.
But where my new thought processes and convictions will lead me to is not yet certain. That is why I say my time in seminary is about suggested reconstruction because I don’t think reconstruction really took place in seminary, it just gave ideas of which ways my reconstruction could go.
When I graduated, I wasn’t confident with where I would go on from there. Perhaps that was the best point to go on from. Maybe another year will bear its fruits and vindicate the gambles I played.
My thoughts have drifted of course. Writing isn’t one of the gambles. Writing is just one of the tokens of my reconstruction process.
It is about regaining in some measure confidence, my voice and my inner compass and letting that be reflected somewhat through writing.
2017 is looking to be a very, very good year. I am feeling it.