1. Be present.
It’s easy to get distracted thinking about other work, life, your current netflix obsession, etc. However, try to spend the three hours per week of the gateway focused on the gateway. So much is covered in every class, and being engaged in what is happening will allow you to get the most out of this class and grow the most in your writing.
2. Don’t feel trapped by past drafts.
With projects that are as open-ended as the repurposing and remediation are, it can be stressful to have so much freedom, and I personally struggled with feeling like I had to make my project fit in with my original production plan even though it felt like it should be moving in a new direction. Trust the process, and don’t feel like you are locked in to your very first idea or format for a project. If things change, or you find yourself moving in a new direction, embrace it! If you feel stuck, especially with project 2, it can be really helpful to take some time and read through your original material-you never know when inspiration will strike and give you momentum or direction.
3. USE YOUR FELLOW WRITERS.
From teachers who aren’t intimidated when you email them at 3am to classmates who can teach you how to add a PDF to your wix site, there are SO many resources available to support you in this class. Realize that this class is not going to be a typical class (in a good way) and embrace the small-group feeling of it, and never be afraid to ask for assistance.
4. Stop thinking about what everyone else is doing.
Once again, this class has a ton of freedom. That being said, everyone’s work is different!! While you may be writing a short story, someone else is writing a personal narrative, and someone else is writing a poem. This is not to say you shouldn’t support each other, but rather saying that you should embrace the differences in your projects and take pride in your own instead of stressing out about someone else being “farther along” on their piece. Learn from each other, help each other, but don’t try to compare progress (someone else’s final project may be 10 pages and yours is 2. that is okay. find what works for YOU).
5. Let yourself be excited about your writing.
And, ignore anybody who says you shouldn’t be. The gateway gives you a built-in support network of people who have (and want) to listen to your writing, so use it! You might be surprised, but everyone actually cares about your work (shocking, I know) and wants to hear about it! Let yourself be nerdy about writing, and have fun with it.
To all the future MiW Students, I hope you are excited!
Actual footage of me leaving my last ever gateway class:
Welcome to the minor in writing club, make us proud.