Dear Newbies

To the next MIW cohort,

Welcome to the minor!  I hope you’re excited about it.  I was excited and nervous to begin the gateway course: excited because I made the commitment to join the minor and focus on my writing for the first time, nervous because I didn’t have much faith in myself as a writer.  Being nervous or excited is okay- so is whatever other feeling you are feeling.  My advice to you is to be confident and open-minded.  This class is going to force creativity out of you (it doesn’t come easy for me) but you have it.  Your visions and ideas are creative even if they don’t seem like it to you.

Take this class as an opportunity and even an invitation to explore yourself and your passions.  You are going to work on a project for 2/3rds of the semester.  It should be something you really care about.  When you love something, you invest in it and your creativity is strongest.

Don’t be afraid to take a risk.  I made a short video for my third project and I felt completely unprepared to do so.  Trust me when I say I knew nothing about it.  I didn’t know how to work iMovie or how to upload a video to YouTube.  I didn’t even know I had a YouTube account.  The video turned out well.  You will have the resources available to you to make it happen.  Do something different.  Something that seems a little scary.  There is no better way to learn.

You are a writer.  You are.  You need to believe that and you need to be willing to share your work with other people.  That was hard for me.  I like to keep it to myself.  I typically don’t think my work is good enough to call myself a writer or to impress people with my works.  But that’s not really what writing is about.  Write exactly what you want and don’t worry about other people being better writers or having better ideas.  You won’t improve unless you write with your own voice and share your writing even when it makes you feel vulnerable.

Have fun.  Get to know your class.  Write silly blog posts.  Tailer the class to be what you need as a writer.

You’ll do great!

Love,

Bethany

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3 thoughts to “Dear Newbies”

  1. Bethany,

    Thank you for your encouragement and inspiration. I sometimes hesitate about my choice to be a minor in writing because I know it is not enough to just like writing, but I gradually feel more confident and excited about it as I start to make progress in my writing and to explore the soul of writing. It is not about grammar or punctuation though they are necessary in a coherent writing, but the mind that writes and the heart that beats with it are more important for a writer to connect with readers. Therefore, I start to realize writing is also a process of looking for self and facing it with honesty. I think I’m ready to go on this journey.

  2. Bethany,

    I feel much the same you felt when you entered the minor. I’m excited but definitely nervous, and I feel a little in over my head. I’ve always been hesitant to let others read my writing, even my close friends. Especially my close friends. I know this class is very personal. Between blogging my thoughts and working on the e-portfolio, I’m going to have to open myself up to my classmates, and that makes me a little anxious. Like you, creativity doesn’t come easily to me either. Nor does technology. I liked reading your advice because it showed me a girl that started out a lot like I am right now, but who took risks and came out the other side very confident. I hope to come out of this class the same way you did.

  3. Bethany,

    Thanks a ton for your advice. I too am a bit hesitant to share my writing with others. I like to tell myself that it’s because I am confident in my abilities as a writer so I don’t need any help editing, but it’s actually more of the opposite. I am sometimes shy about both what I am writing about and whether or not it’s any good, so your advice about sharing my work with others is something that I needed to hear. Even though we had peer reviews in my FYW course, it was often just telling the other person what corrections we found, rather than sharing in the revision process.

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