It's a beautiful warm weekend here in Montreal and right now, there are about 100 students who are probably working on writing assignments for me... unless of course, they're going to wait till the night before their work is due!
So I thought in case of you guys are checking my blog, I'd give you a little advice to help you get started and get through what you've got to do. Plus who knows how many other students out there might find this advice a wee bit useful?
Okay, so the main advice is: quit procrastinating or worrying or whatever it is you do before you settle down to work and START WRITING. That energy you spend procrastinating or worrying is energy that will be better spent on your writing. (I know because it happens to me, too. It happens to all writers.)
Next advice. Don't worry if it's not perfect. Just get that first draft out! Yesterday, I read a great line from Margaret Atwood, who says: "If I waited for perfection, I would never write a word." See! If Margaret Atwood feels that way, you're in fine company. Don't worry if it's not perfect... just get that draft out!
More advice. Don't hand in that first draft. (I say this because next weekend, you may be out enjoying the fine weather, and I'll be home reading your assignments... so please, try to make them wonderful.) The real work comes in the revising stages. Note that I say stageS (with an S) because one re-write is rarely enough.
Final bit of advice. This comes from Ron, my boxing teacher, who just told me this morning: "You need to develop relaxed intensity." Work hard (that's the intensity part), but try not to be too anxious. Breathe deep, take pleasure in facing the challenge that writing presents.
I look forward to reading your writing!