For many, writing isn’t the most exhilarating experience–especially when the subject of one’s writing is not of his or her choosing. I personally, am one of the few individuals who enjoy writing for pleasure. However, writing a 20-page paper on basket-weaving practices in 18th century Europe doesn’t really put me on the edge of my seat. Writing is difficult, taxing, and often time consuming. In addition, it is a requirement asked of most college students across the nation, making it extremely difficult to avoid. So let’s face it, writing for school can sometimes be a pain! Fortunately for you, I have five helpful tips to make it less painful.
- Organize! Organize! Organize! Plan! Plan! Plan!
You know what makes any task even more stressful and difficult than what it already is? A lack of planning! How many times have you been in the process of writing a paper and you get stuck? If you don’t like writing I’m willing to bet more often than not. By organizing and planning what you want to write before you write it, you eliminate the possibility of this occurring. It’s like my football coach always says, “proper planning prevents poor performance.”
- Use Your OWN voice!
Before I became a semi-seasoned/confident writer I always placed a lot of stress on having a certain voice. I had created a false notion that whenever I wrote a paper it had to have a voice other than my own, because my voice wasn’t professional enough or acceptable when writing. Nothing could’ve been further from the truth. As long as your paper grammatically makes sense and abstains from the use of slang, write how you talk! There’s no need to try to sound like Mark Twain or Charles Dickens when you write, because the best voice to use is your own unique one.
- Embrace Mistakes!
Your first draft will never be perfect, never; so don’t try to make it perfect. “Art is a million mistakes” and the art of writing may be comprised of a million and one. Get your ideas on paper and iron out the mistakes later during the review process. The most important thing is completing a draft that you can work from.
- Forget the Rules!
There’s no such thing as the Tooth Fairy, Jackelopes aren’t real animals, and there aren’t any laws of writing. Now I wouldn’t recommend freelancing and doing whatever you want, but don’t be afraid to start a sentence with “and” because Mrs. Hicklebottom told you in third grade you couldn’t. Welcome to the big leagues of college where you can have some freedom and experiment with different styles. Don’t let the myths that were drilled into you as a child hold you back.
Way too often we overlook our daily accomplishments. I implore you to celebrate all of your small victories and accomplishments in your life, especially your ones related to writing. You finished that 10-page essay? Treat yourself to that Grande pumpkin spiced latte! You deserve it.
–Duane, peer tutor