For the longest of times, I have had writer's block whenever I think of writing a General Paper (8009) essay. Last year, I didn't put my pen to paper even once. Unsurprisingly, my GP score was an eyesore: U!
But, my English is decent, so I know it's not my mastery of the language that's the issue. Furthermore, I never have had any trouble when I blog, talk, or anything else involving English. So it must be that there's some magic word I'm omitting in my essays... /s
I've pondered on this gremlin for quite a while. I scoured the web for help, but I only found this:
- This decent blog with a few articles about GP
- This year's syllabus
- Specimen paper & syllabus for 2020-21
That's about it. 😐
So I thought hard about it by myself, and I think I've figured it out: I have high standards for my writing. I don't like it when I have to produce fluff or write on topics on which I'm not significantly knowledgeable. The world's information reserves are full of noise already, and I don't want to add to the trash. The time limit of the exam doesn't help. My blog posts can take anywhere between 3 hours to a weekend to write, sometimes even a week. TL;DR: What I produce for GP doesn't match my taste. So that led to writer's block, and whenever I thought of it, my brain just froze.
So here's my plan to fight it: Write out GP essays as blog posts and publish them out here, in the wild web. Now, I can pretend I'm spilling my thoughts on (virtual) paper. It's as if I took a transcript of my verbal response to someone's (essay) question, and then diluted it with some formal-sounding jargon.
It also helps me hold myself accountable, and at the same time, maybe this will help someone else out. If you find any improvements (you surely will!), let me know. Here's my list of essays: