Being accepted into the Minor in Writing program was so exciting, but I honestly had no idea what to expect. I remember coming to class the first day worrying about how intense the program, and my instructor, would be. I can honestly say this class (and the minor) surpassed my expectations, and has only assured me that this is the right direction for me. While I’ve probably done more revisions in the past 3 months than I have in my entire life, I’ve loved every second of it, and truly believe that I am progressing as a writer. One thing Ray said to us that has really stuck with me is that every year we grow. Senior year we wrote English essays that we thought were incredible, only to turn around freshman year of college and think “dear god, how did I ever put my name on that?” Then freshman year we wrote even more essays and thought we had nearly perfected our writing capabilities, only to realize sophomore year that we hated what we produced the year before. The cycle goes on. This really stood out to me because, while I’ve never recognized it, the pattern is true, and it was comforting to know that everyone, even people writing dissertations and working towards their doctorates, feel the same way. This realization has encouraged me to use every year as a stepping stone; although I will never think my work is perfect, it will always be better than whatever I wrote the year before, and that’s a really exciting and encouraging fact to recognize. In this way, I could probably spend years working on my site and never be truly satisfied, but what I’ve produced this year is definitely way better than what I’ve produced in years prior, and I can see how much I’ve grown as a writer. I’m excited to see what my future in this program (and beyond) will look like.
To the Minor in Writing newbies,
I can honestly say that I am excited for you to take the MIW introductory course, and I don’t get excited about class often. Writing 220 is a class unlike something I have taken at UofM. The “assignments” don’t feel like work at all; they are all unique and give us the freedom to make them our own. What I enjoy most is that I am able to write about what I want to write about. The projects allow us to look into ourselves and express ourselves as individuals, so the final result is like an extension of ourself. We can write how we want, make our voice heard, do what we think is “right” (because there is no right or wrong).
My advice to you, young writers, is do you. Honestly. You do you. The Writing 220 is one of the few classes that has allowed me to put my own voice in my writing and put my own unique spin on a project. Take advantage of that. So many professors require you to write a certain way and follow strict guidelines. The MIW gives you freedom; use it to say what you want to say, however you want to say it. You do you. And if you don’t know what that means yet, you’ll figure it out, because the Minor in Writing will help you find yourself in your writing.
Get to know your classmates. If you’re lucky like me, you’ll be sitting next to kids who are just as funny, smart, and enjoyable to be around as your professor. Which leads me to my next point: get to know your professor. The leaders of the MIW know what they’re doing, and they’re great sources for you to go to for writing advice or a good laugh. And most importantly, they’ll help you find your voice, so that you can continue to do you.
“Imma do me.” -Young Jeezy