When I was teaching composition ten years ago, I doled out amazing amounts of writing advice. Write what you know. Don’t use your first ten ideas because everyone else has thought of those too. Highlight your topic sentences and read them all in a row to see if your organization works. Read each sentence of your essay in reverse order (last one first) to catch grammar and proofreading errors. Write early. Now that I’m primarily a writer, it’s interesting to see which of those pieces of advice have stuck with me. (I’ll let you know my favorite in the comments.)
What’s the piece of writing advice you’ve received (from a person, class, book, etc.) that has the most impact on your writing now? Or what piece of advice do you wish you’d heard or taken seriously earlier in your writing life?
I’ll leave the comments open through Monday noon (PST).
As usual, the check-in format: 1) Goals, 2) Accomplished, 3) Analysis, 4) Goals for next week, 5) optional Next check in date, if you’ll miss a week or two or three.
Amstr [complete dissertation]: 1) do a first revision pass on Ch. 3, 2) read comments from editor on article-version of Ch. 2 and decide what to do, 3) make notes for Ch. 2 revision, 4) write an introduction to the Ch. version.
Aria [something ??]: no goals (conference week).
Becky [journal article]: read more for the manuscript.
Contingent Cassandra [full draft of J by 7/21; progress on P project]: finish one freelance assignment, start 2nd if time. Survive student conferences & family event. Take care of self. Bonus: Check in with J article material once or twice.
Daisy [finish thesis]: Finish the data paper and get it to supervisor, finally…
DEH [finish and submit MMP and article]: Finish draft of the MMP-companion-piece essay, recognizing that there will be holes to fill in when I have all the necessary books and so on.
Elizabeth Anne Mitchell [progress on diss or article]: An hour a day on the article, using what I can of Week 1 of WYJA.
emmawriting [2 articles submitted; work on 1 of 2 articles]: Work on EOCP every day; try to do it first thing in the morning when getting into the office / turning on computer.
GEW [draft of new chapter; edit article]: Finish reading primary source (novel) for Chapter 5, typing notes and quotes.
humming42 [complete book MS]: send off chapter 1 to the editors for review.
JaneB [chip away at writing backlog]: teach the intensive course; put together some notes on the paper with the MSc student explaining to myself why exactly I’m struggling with it, work out who to talk to about it, and arrange a meeting.
jenk [submit article; materials/methods + research sections of thesis]: an hour and a half with the thesis (next check in: 6/22)
Kirstin [rough draft of journal article]: Finish WYJA Week 3
kiwimedievalist [article]: ?
luolin88 [finish and submit journal article; start next article]: 1/2 revising Monday (today);
1/2 revising Th and Fr after returning from trip. (next check in: 6/22)
Matilda [2 of 4: paper, 3 presentations]: finishing a first draft, praying to WYJA for help and inspiration.
NWGirl [revise 2 papers for publication]: Finish writing up my notes on the literature review and move on to Week 6 of WYJA
psycgirl [R&R MS; submit MS#2; outline review article]: ?
rented life [2 solid book chapters]: Do all the moving stuff, read 2 chapters. (next check in: 6/22)
Ruthie [chapter; book proposal; 2 articles]: ?
Sapience [complete diss; decide scope of new idea]: at least 10 more articles for the summer seminar.
tracynicolerose [P&P and LM papers ready for conference mid-summer; drafting TS and BE papers]: re-read the P&P paper draft and make a list of edits that it needs. Some reading for at least one of the three papers on my plate this summer. (next check in: 6/22)
Trapped in Canadia [2 diss. chapters; 1 turned into edited book ch.]: (next check in: 6/22)