I’ve picked up a lot of habits from school, some bad, some good. Unfortunately, one of the bad ones I’ve picked up is the tendency to “bullshit” when writing.
In most school assignment reports, there’s often some form of minimum length requirement to reach, be it the number of pages, number of words or even key points to touch on. Not achieving this lower limit would likely result in marks deducted or just failure. I’ve never been very good with words, so more often than not, I end up with far less the goal.
To compensate, I taught myself the art of “bullshitting”, which basically means to add on random words or sentences to the report designed to blend in with the actual content, in order to make the report appear longer. There were various strategies, like paraphrasing the main ideas, summarising the whole paragraph and worst of all, fabricating evidence.
Now bear in mind, this actually works; I managed to get through most of my assignments doing just this. Unfortunately, over time, this “bullshitting” became a habit, and sometimes it manages to leak into my writing out of school.
One of the negative impacts of “bullshitting” is that the original meaning and value behind the text starts to get buried underneath all the garbage, so much so that the writing begins to feel unauthentic, like it was written for the sake of being written (which it was).
As a result, looking back, a lot of what I write feels very uninspiring, and bland to say the least. Now that I’ve realised this, I’m taking an effort to change that.
For one, doing more research instead of jumping straight into writing has helped a lot. I know a lot more about the topic beforehand, which eliminates the need to beat about the bush. Forcing myself to keep my points short also helps to keep them concise and straight to the point.
I’m still working on it, but I think that my writing feels slightly more inspiring, and more authentic than before. Hopefully, the trend continues in this direction.
I’ll be posting more on this blog now too, so stay tuned for more.