Some Advice: Go for it

Dear future minor in writing cohort,

You have decided to follow your passion for writing, and for that I congratulate you! Here is what you need to know about this program. You are going to look at the first writing assignment, (if it is still the Why I Write Project), and think, “how are there no guidelines?” “What do you mean no specific page limit or requirement?” You will wonder as you are trying not to bite your nails as the anxiety creeps its way into your head. You will be daunted, but, from a survivor of this nail biting experience, I can tell you that there is no reason to be. Instead,¬†you should be excited.

For this project, and essentially for all of the projects in this class, you are the primary dictator of what your “assignment” will be. It’s a new concept, I know, but it is one with endless possibilities. Take the opportunity to dig deep within yourself and ask yourself the hard questions: What does writing mean to me? What piece of writing was I most intrigued by? What medium have I always wanted to explore but haven’t yet gotten the chance? Don’t be afraid to dive in unsure of where your piece will go. Try something new, and if you hate it, try something else new. This is the class where you get to try. So take advantage of the opportunity to learn something new about yourself as a writer, while simultaneously being inspired by all of the other passionate writers you are surrounded by. Use them as a resource, take their comments to heart because the fact that they are in this cohort means that they care.

Another element of this class you should take advantage of is the revision process. I thought it was strange at first to go through a draft that I had just written and make comments in the margin, but as weird as this may feel at first, the process allowed me to isolate sentences and sections that I was genuinely proud of, unsure of, and that I knew would ultimately be revised. Take the peer review workshops as a time to appreciate other styles of writing. In many instances I found myself wanting to incorporate some elements of my peer’s writing into my own.

In one sentence: absorb everything you can from this class, dive into new writing expeditions even if the destination is unknown, and you will do wonderfully.

Man cliff diving into the ocean

Sophie Burton

Sophomore in LSA, from Minnesota. I love yoga and sea salt truffles.

2 thoughts to “Some Advice: Go for it”

  1. Sophie, first of all, I love the picture you chose. It really embodies how I feel about – like you said – following my passion for writing. As a business major, some people look at me funny when I say I am minoring in writing. Or sometimes they assume that I aim to improve my “professional writing,” to which they couldn’t be more wrong. Yes, I care about my professional endeavors and believe that the minor in writing will propel me there, but really I am taking this class in order to follow my interest in writing. I think that the vagueness of this class’s assignments will stretch my mind in new ways and challenge me to truly conjure writing through creativity.

  2. Hello!
    I can totally relate to the anxiety feeling you were discussing. You were right, when i got the first assignment with little instruction, I was confused and wanted more guidance. I have always found it difficult to really dig deep in my writing and I am glad you are suggesting to let things go and have fun with the class! I am a sport management major, therefore I do a bit of writing, and I hope to keep improving that skill! I enjoyed your advice on taking advantage of revision. I am my toughest critic so it is nice to hear that the revision process doesn’t turn out too bad! Thank you for all of you wonderful advice!

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