5 Tips for Those Who Hate Writing

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.

  1. 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.”


GIF from ign.com


  1. Use Your OWN voice!

GIF from NBC.com

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.

  1. Embrace Mistakes!
happy accident

Image from quickmeme.com

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.


  1. Forget the Rules!
Da rules

image from nick.com

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.


  1. Celebrate!

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.



image from giphy.com


–Duane, peer tutor

Asking Your Professor for Help

Have you ever gotten an assignment from a professor, planned out when you would begin it, and sat down at your freshly-cleaned desk with your laptop, a drink, and a healthy snack, only to find that you don’t understand the instructions?

This happens to everyone at some point. Sometimes professors’ instructions are vague (perhaps purposefully so); sometimes their prompts are multi-faceted and open-ended; sometimes the assignment is separate from the class material and therefore difficult to begin working on. Whatever the reason, writing assignments can be murky to navigate. So what should be your first resource (besides The Writing Center)? Your professor.

Talking to your professor can be intimidating, but the reasons why it can be intimidating are the same reasons why it can also be helpful. Your professor has an advanced degree and years of experience in their field. Their job is to be a resource. Also, your professor is the one reading and grading the assignment. They came up with it. They know what they’re asking you to do.


Image from flickr.com

So how should you go about contacting them for help? The answer is professionally, honestly, and sooner rather than later! Some professors have their preferred method of contact listed on their syllabi; usually this will be their office hours. If not, they probably prefer to communicate by email.

When you attend office hours, come prepared with specific questions about your assignment. What is it that you understand, and what is it that you don’t? Is a particular instruction confusing or vague? Are you uncertain about what the assignment is referring to? If your questions are numerous or don’t fall within the scope of what is covered in class, consider asking your professor for resources you can use to help you with the assignment (for example, The Writing Center often refers writers to the Purdue O.W.L. for help with citations!). If office hours don’t fit into your schedule, then try email—again including specific questions about the assignment.


Image from flickr.com

If you are able, it may even be best to draft your assignment (perhaps with help from The Writing Center) and then show it to your professor (well in advance) for feedback. You can find out what you’ve done right and what you need to improve upon—and besides, it shows effort!

Here at The Writing Center, we’re happy to help you break down your assignment, draft your writing, and contact your professor. After all, communicating is what we do! So don’t put off your next assignment because you don’t understand—get started today. (link to writing center website there)

-Sarah, peer tutor