Grad School Update: Editing

I’m in the midst of editing my thesis, which is just as unpleasant as you might imagine. Writing the first draft felt good, but going back and looking at it again isn’t as much fun.

I met with my advisor a couple weeks ago to go over the whole thing and one interesting point (at least to me) came up: I use modifiers that make my point less stark, or less strong, all the time. Which is the same exact thing that my creative writing advisor always harped on at Oberlin. I put in extra words that I really don’t need. Just describe the scene, Zoë, don’t back away from it.

Up until this point, creative writing and academic writing have been two very separate beasts in my head with creative nonfiction acting as a sort of rope bridge between them. Now, though, I’ve come to realize that my academic writing is actually just my writing. All the same issues that come up in my creative writing come up in my academic writing as well, and I’m going to have to start approaching my editing with that in mind.

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