One of the hardest adjustments when it comes to transferring from high school to university is the difference in the quality of work you are asked to produce. Some schools do a great job of filling in the blanks and preparing you for the different ways in which you will be asked to write, others not so much. This is why I thought that it would be helpful to lay out some general rules to make sure you are ticking all the boxes for your tutor.
Writing is one of the most powerful careers there is, I honestly believe that. Words have the power to change the world one life at a time. There will always be that book that changed the way you thought, opened you up to a new part of the world or changed your mind. We shouldn’t hold ourselves back because of disabilities or learning disorders. I wish I learned this sooner in life, I could’ve saved a lot of time away from the kitchen and spent it sitting at my desk; writing a story that someone else needs.
When I first started to pursue my passion for writing (I'm talking way back in my pre-teen years), I used to go over and over my "novel". I would relentlessly write and rewrite paragraphs and chapters; I would rename my characters, change my plot plan and...
No matter what type of life you have lived, whether it be interesting or mundane; if you are a writer you have undoubtedly heard the phrase ‘write what you know’. Most writers have two reactions to this piece of advice, the first being: that is the most stupid thing I’ve ever heard, you need to read some fantasy; or yeah, that sounds pretty logical. Whichever camp your in, I’m going to tell you now… you’re not wrong. There I said it, I live in this magical place in between both of the camps; here in this utopian land we believe that yes, you should write what you know… but you should also write what you come to know. While I don’t think that write what you know is a very good piece of advice, I think the theory behind it (often left out of the advice) is something that every writer does naturally. Before anyone clicks out of this article in a fit of rage, let me explain myself.
So what goes into a notebook? Whatever you like is the honest answer. Your journal should contain anything that inspires you to write… and anything that you would like to practise writing about. Take your notebook out with you, give people stories, paint that flower with your words. Explore why the old man still wears his tatty hat while making his daily trip to the newspaper stand. Figure it out, explore, this is the place to use an infinite number of similes and metaphors. This is where you make the connections. This is where you can show and tell as much as you like. This is the freedom of writing; it is why we do what we do. This is the place to embarrass and inspire yourself.
Freewriting can be a tool that helps you unlock the emotions behind what you write; it allows you to filter out what is unimportant effectively and really acknowledge what you value. It will enable you to highlight key phrases and ideas that you might not have been able to recognise without the use of Freewrite. Freewriting is also useful for establishing a daily writing habit. It’s great for writers who don’t have a specific topic or theme to their writing. It helps you establish useful information that can be stored in your story bank and pulled out as needed.