Don’t do it for the fans

Dear future Gateway students,

You’re probably scrolling through the blog trying to figure out what the Minor in Writing is actually all about. Because, in the beginning, it’s more than a little vague. It’s 7pm on the first day of classes, and you are more than a little overwhelmed. Earlier today, you shuffled into North Quad embarrassingly early (because what if you couldn’t find the room? what if you couldn’t find a seat?) and you sat in a circle, staring at strangers who all seemed more qualified than you. Right now, you love to write, but they’re already writers. They made it into this minor because they could actually produce things worth reading. You made it in because..well you aren’t even really sure why. What’s an eportfolio? Repurposing? Remediation? You just don’t know.

That’s the best part about this program. Any doubts on the first day are quickly diminished because it becomes clear that you, in fact, are a writer. You are a writer simply because you love the act of putting words on paper, because you have a knack for stringing  sentences together in a way that makes people smile or cry or laugh or whatever. You’re a writer because you chose this minor, and it chose you back. Because you can take a note scribbled by your best friend and turn it into a semester long project.

So if I had one piece of advice for you future Gateway writers out there, it would be to write for yourself. Not for anyone else. It’s ok if you don’t exactly follow the assignment instructions, or if your writing is a little too controversial. It doesn’t matter if your story makes people angry or if they just don’t seem to get it. Follow your voice, and create things that you love.  Write about what’s important to you. You won’t regret it. Take care of your writing, and nurture it so that when you do send it out into the world, it’s an accurate representation of you — a writer.


Write until you feel right.
Write until you feel right.








2 thoughts to “Don’t do it for the fans”

  1. I love the advice. I’m looking forward to writing for myself for a change. I think many students would agree there are few opportunities for that in school; lucky for us we have Sweetland to encourage us to experiment and to do different (and probably weird) things with our writing

  2. Caroline – a lot of what you said really made sense to me, especially in the last paragraph about staying true to your voice and writing about what you care about. Sometimes I’ll look at an assignment or blog prompt, then kind of think, “what do I really want to write about?” and sometimes those two aren’t exactly the same thing. But, I think it might an interesting and cool sort of “challenge” to tailor what you want to write about to whatever the assignment might be (or just completely forget it I guess).

Leave a Reply