Lessons Learned

This being my last blog post of the semester, I think it is appropriate that I reflect on the things I learned in this class and how I’m a better writer because of them.  This class taught me that I am not the only person who struggles with the writing process and that it’s okay to actually hate writing; in the same vein, it has made me realize that I love having written.

I also learned the commonality of “shitty first drafts” and how “practically everyone’s first draft sucks.”  For me coming in, I always thought that my first drafts were pretty decent and that they only needed minor tweaking when it came to revising—ohhhh was I wrong.  The reality of the matter is that the more eyes you get reading your paper and the more feedback you receive, the more you start to realize how bad your first draft really was and how much room there is for improvement.

Lastly, I learned to push myself as a writer.  I learned to identify the holes in my writing, where things didn’t quite add up, and how I could holistically make my papers better.  More often than not, the old “try, try again” approach will lead to a quality final product; even if it does require you to write draft after draft after draft…

More than any English/Writing class I’ve ever taken, has this class had challenged and changed my perspective on the art and practice of writing.  With the knowledge I’ve obtained, I look forward to the Writing 400 capstone course as well as my future as a writer.

One thought to “Lessons Learned”

  1. Joey,
    I can identify with your initial feelings regarding your first drafts. When I first came to U-M in the summer of 2010, I didn’t think my first drafts sucked at all. I thought as long as I gave myself about 6 hours away from the first draft and I came back and edited it, I’d be fine. Freshman year, I never wanted to go to Sweetland either. I thought I was too good of a writer to have anyone at Sweetland revise my paper. I thought that if my mom revised my papers, then everything would be fine.

    However, my mother is an EXTREMELY friendly audience. Therefore, she may not catch things that others can catch. I now know that having multiple sets of eyes can really help my writing assignments. As a result, now I know that I need to go to Sweetland. Although the extent to which people at Sweetland can improve my writing may vary, I think everyone can definitely contribute something to my writing.

    Have you tried scheduling an appointment with Sweetland before? I tried recently, and found if one wants to set up an appointment, they have to do so about 2 weeks in advance. If Sweetland is that busy, they have to be contributing something worthwhile for students at U-M. Next year, I will have the majority of my papers revised at Sweetland. The Sweetland Writing Center is a resource that I can’t afford to neglect any longer.

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