I can’t believe it’s time for me to write this post, I feel like I was just searching through this blog for past advice posts. So I guess that is where my advice starts, enjoy your time in the course because it will go (too) quickly. You will be challenged to write in ways you haven’t written before and challenged to look at writing as a whole in new ways. It may seem daunting or too large of a concept to grasp at times, but that’s okay. It’s okay to feel like you’re stuck under something enormous, you will make it out. Let yourself look deeper and don’t worry if you don’t understand right away. There is rarely a wrong answer, it just depends on where you personally want to go.

My next piece of advice is to challenge yourself. The course will inherently challenge you, but take it one step further. Try a new style or a new genre that you haven’t tried before, playing it safe won’t help you grow as a writer as much as trying something new. And this is the class to take those risks. It is not a high stakes environment, so why not take a chance? You will learn something no matter what the end result is.

My last piece of advice is to be open to help. I went into the class hating sharing my writing and revising all of my papers myself. But I have learned how valuable feedback really is. Even if you don’t agree with some of the comments you get back, there is always value in what others think. It can show how clear your message comes across, it can show you places to expand or places to cut down, it can show you a whole new way to frame your piece. No matter what, you will learn something about your paper from feedback.

So congratulations on beginning your journey through the Minor in Writing. You are already a strong and driven writer, you are here. There is only room to grow and you definitely will. Keep writing and good luck!

Shannon Vail

I am a senior Art History major who thoroughly enjoys cooking, traveling, beagles and Buffalo sports.

3 thoughts to “Advice”

  1. Dear Shannon,
    I agree that feedback has been really valuable throughout the semester! I think it’s always helpful to see how someone who isn’t familiar with you or your writing style views your piece, as this can help you gauge whether you’re getting your message across. I also think you make a really good point about the minor being a low-stakes environment. Since we have such a long time to complete our projects, it gives us a lot of time to really master whatever new technology we’re challenging ourselves with!

  2. I love reading these advice pieces and realizing how similar the experiences are. I’ve also learned that opening myself up to help has been tremendously beneficial. I actually made a new friend. This piece of advice made me think of the different ways you can be vulnerable with your writing. I think I spend so much time being vulnerable in my writing, that sharing it is even harder because of the truth’s they’ll learn. It’s like double exposure. Your comment about it being low stakes makes me wonder if the capstone is high stakes in comparison.

    I’m glad I got to be in such a small intimate class though, and meet you and everyone else. Its so rare that I finish a semester and know everyone’s name!

  3. Beginning the writing minor seemed a bit daunting to me at first. It was very helpful that you recommended to try new things and to become conferrable challenging myself by writing out of my comfort zone. I feel that normally, I try to write what I believe will be the best paper, reflected in the grade that it receives. It is comforting to know that this is the place to truly work on finding my own voice in writing and not worry about striking out a few times before I find it. I have always struggled with this balance and now I am glad that I finally found the place to really develop my writing.

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