Tyler’s Totally Trustworthy Tally of Tips

It seems like just yesterday that I was beginning this class by reading the advice that the previous sections had given to future sections. Now I seem to be expected to impart some wisdom onto future students myself. I don’t know what made them think this was a good idea but I guess we will have to trust the all-powerful being that is T.

Tyler’s Totally Trustworthy Tally of Tips

  1. Trust Yourself

You need to have confidence in yourself in order to be successful in this class. This involves trusting yourself with both your own work and the work of others. In this class you are given a very loose prompts for all of the projects and you need to be able to trust yourself enough to decide what to do for these projects and to decide the course for the rest of the semester. This also applies to the works of others and trusting yourself enough to have opinions about their work. Of course don’t be mean and overbearing but trust in yourself enough to be able to give advice with confidence and a good intent.

  1. You Are A Writer

Become comfortable with calling yourself a writer. This is kind of related to the first piece of advice but important enough to be on its own. I know that you probably have some anxiety about calling yourself a writer because that word has such a connotation. A connotation with knowing exactly the right words and having the best and most insightful ideas. But let me tell you everyone in your class has those exact same uncomfortable feelings with doing so. That person in class halfway down the table from you who you are already kind of resent because they seem like a capital W ‘Writer’ and sure of it has those exact same thoughts and feelings. Trust me we all have no idea what we are doing but that doesn’t mean we aren’t writers.

  1. Keep On Top Of Things

This class is planned out well so that if you follow the schedule you will never be overloaded with work at any time for this class. There are certainly busier and slower times but the workload is never totally insane. However, if you fall behind this can all go out the window. Trust me this isn’t a class where you can throw something together last minute and it will work out fine. Always try and keep on time as far as the big projects go as otherwise they will become overwhelming very quickly.

  1. Play Well With Others

Work with your groups when you are assigned to do so in class as they will be the best feedback that you will receive about your project. Unless you do manage to get it workshopped work groups really will be your most consistent and the easiest way to get someone else to look at your work. (Your professor will always be willing to meet with you as well if you want it.) So this means that you need to get the most possible out of it. Have questions ready and don’t be afraid to really guide them to what you want help with. This works in the opposite direction as well. You represent the exact same thing for their project as well. So try and ask good questions and pay attention to what they really want feedback on. Give the quality of advice on their project that you want to receive on your own.

  1. Stay Calm

This Is Fine Dog

This will be you at least one point during the semester. You will be buried in work, your project draft will not be where you want it to be, you won’t know what to do or how to proceed, something, anything or everything will happen that could possibly cause you to stress out about the project or life in general. In times like this you just need to stay calm, trust yourself, have confidence in your abilities as a writer, stay on top of things as best as you can, and listen to the help others are offering you. Everything will work out in the end (Hopefully?).

I don’t know. Was that helpful?

3 thoughts to “Tyler’s Totally Trustworthy Tally of Tips”

  1. Dear Tyler, this was indeed helpful! Thank you so much for your tips. You’re right — I’m already feeling overwhelmed at the prospect of Project II/Project III, but I need to stay calm. It will all be ok 🙂 It has been reassuring to read the advice on this section of the blog. Thanks again!

  2. Dear Tyler,
    I really appreciate hearing your tips, and reading this feels a lot better knowing that someone else relates to me when I feel overwhelmed and that everything is due at the same time. It is very reassuring to hear that as long as students stay on top of their work, they will never be too overwhelmed.

  3. Dear Tyler,
    Thank you for your advice. This is what I needed to hear! I have honestly been feeling a bit inadequate lately since my peers are so darn gifted, and their essays are some of the best I’ve ever read! It’s an amazing thing to be surrounded by such inspiration, but it can also be overwhelming for a new “writer”, which leads me to my next point. Thank you for encouraging us to call ourselves “writers”. I grapple with the concept that I don’t have to write for The New York Times to own this title, and that I too have something to say through my writing. However, with each class I attend, and with your encouragement, I feel that I will be able to adapt to this with time and, like you mentioned, confidence. 😉
    Thank you again,

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