Although writing is my biggest passion, most of my younger days as a writer was outside of class. It really wasn’t until I was 17 when I really started to work on my craft. Even so, I took more writing courses when I was first in my 20s. Now, I have studied it at the post-secondary level for about three years. I graduated last year with my BA in Media and my Certificate in Writing. I will have a Journalism Diploma by the summer of 2016.
Naturally, I have found some traits that have happened since I’ve taken writing classes. Here’s a few, maybe they’ll happen to you. We’ll see.
Striving for Perfection
Why shouldn’t I be? I am a journalist, I have to be as precise and fair as possible. All it takes is one mistake to lose credibility. Lets just agree that mistakes aren’t fun. As much as I love reporting, I also enjoy editing. It’s easier for me to catch mistakes when they aren’t my own, and I can see the creativity of many writers.
Does that mean everything I produce is flawless? Nope. I’m only human, after all. When something isn’t perfect, or even close to it, it’s upsetting. Think of your worst break up, even if it was ending a friendship. That’s what getting your work rejected feels like.
That being said, when you produce a piece that is loved, it’s the best feeling. Even if you are the only one who knows that it was well done, it’s a very satisfying feeling.
Caffeine Became Essential
I never be a big fan of coffee. Even in my final year of undergrad, I wasn’t super keen on it, but I lived off of green tea. It was my morning essential. Then, I went to a concert, the night before I had to wake up for an eight a.m. class.
Suddenly, it dawned on me. This is why other people in their 20s live off of coffee! I also realized I wish I had the energy from my teenaged years. The golden days when I could get away with going to a concert, then having class early in the morning the next day caffeine free.
You need energy for feeling remotely to make it through long days. Plus, who doesn’t find warm beverages comforting? Writing with a cup of tea or coffee has become therapy; perfect for those nights or mornings when you need to recover.
Open Book? Of course!
As a writer, I have made plenty of connections with other writers. It’s an interesting bunch of people. You’ll find a mix introverts and extroverts who let their personalities shine in their writing. Whether it’s in journalism or in a short story, my mentors have encouraged me to reveal important details in my work. Creative writing is also all about avoiding censorship, and just letting every detail emerge.
Why should that be different when talking with fellow writers? The benefit of talking to other writers is they understand what you’re going through. Tight deadlines? Been there. Another publication rejected your work? Preaching to the choir!
A Pinterest board just for Writing
Most of my Pinterest is silly quotes, enough recipes for its own cookbook, and ideas for my non-existent wedding. Recently, I’ve decided to pin a bunch of writing ideas, in case I ever need a drop of inspiration. I also pin drawing and Smashbook ideas, because I feel they go hand in hand.
I still need to use most of these, but I found it’s a pretty good idea. I even used so many writing prompts from my grade 12 Writer’s Craft class. Pinterest is not that much different. It’s kind of like a journal filled with writing ideas in a sense.
Take ALL the classes!
Not surprising, but you’ll want to take more writing classes throughout your education. While I enjoyed all of my writing classes in university, I always thought about which ones I wanted to take to complete my degree. Even so, I am interested in taking some more creative writing classes in continuing education after my journalism diploma. I’ve found that taking more writing classes is the one of the best ways to improve my writing craft.
What are some of your writing habits? Let me know!