I don’t like giving advice. Er, “life advice,” that is. I mean I kind of like giving “life advice” at times, but I’m only 20 and I’m terrified of giving bad advice. Like what if I accidentally ruin your life? What do I know? Everyone is different and you’re one of a kind, and that means you might do your best writing under pressure (like me!) or you might excel by planning weeks in advance. You might give away a little too much about yourself in class (hi, it’s me again), or you might be more comfortable listening rather than talking. You might love getting to know other people (same), or you might rather focus on the course material.
In all of these scenarios, there isn’t a right or wrong answer. There’s only a solution to what works best for you. Here’s a list of things that worked best for me:
- Get to know your blog group members. It was a lot easier for me to make strides in my projects and papers when I was completely upfront with my classmates. They gave me great advice, and I think I was able to give decent writing advice throughout the semester as well, which leads into my next point…
- Don’t look at peer editing as a task that only helps the other person. I got a lot of great ideas from reading my classmates’ papers and projects. Their great ideas generated some of my best ideas. Being critical of someone else’s work teaches you more about yourself than you’d think. Embrace it.
- I’m not sure if you’re a self-proclaimed writer or not (I decided to stick with that label), but I think it’s important to realize that anyone who ever writes is a writer. This class isn’t meant to teach you how to be a writer, it’s to help you realize that you are a writer.
- Don’t second guess that you’re a writer. Just stick with it. Be confident in your words.
- Be completely upfront with your instructor during conferences! If you haven’t done as much work on the project as you maybe should have, then mention that. They need to know that you plan on doing more work (or vice versa, that you’re pretty much done with your project). Naomi always understood when I hit a creative wall, and I think she appreciated the transparency.
What do I know, though?