I hate writing. What sounds like a strange confession of a person that spent her entire professional life by shifting letters and word across a screen is actually something I detected over the course of this work. Writing means that the thoughts that seemed to be rather clear in my mind need to be streamlined in a clear and understandable manner. Usually without getting feedback during the course of writing.
But what is the difference between writing and speaking (which I do not detest)? As I am usually not speaking to myself, I get a reaction that show me whether I made myself clear. Whether my thoughts make sense. Whether I express them in a way that someone else can follow. Having a presentation about my work means actually having a starting point for a discussion, even if it is highly controversial. But writing, especially in academia usually means to write and get — if at all — a written response and no or only little chance to handle misunderstandings and the lack of further explanation.
“Make writing a habit.” It is difficult to even find the source of this sentence. It is spread all over academic writing guidebook, and each and every serious mentor in academia will tell you that writing is not an art but a handcraft that you need to learn. I truly believe that this is true and there is a lot to learn about writing and organizing the writing process. But there is a certain thing about writing that causes a general feeling of malaise.
And in the end, it is a bit like running*. In the beginning, it seems awful and almost impossible. You look around and see people doing it on a much higher level than you could ever image, while you do not understand how it is possible at all. The more you are doing it, the more you get used to it, but the best feeling is actually the one you feel once you are done.
* Merits go to one of my favorite running weblogs ichhasselaufen.de. Even though I spoke out the sentence “I detest writing” a myriad of times, only skimming through her website made me thinking that I have (had) similar feelings for writing and running.