Tuesday, October 25, 2016

More thoughts on writing from our students

Last but not least!

As DIJANA NECOVSKI herself notes, slightly off brief, but she's gone where the muse took her.

5 things I’ve learned about myself in 2016 so far…

I’ve been living with myself for many years now, 34 in fact, so it should come as no surprise that I know myself pretty well. So it’s nice that there are days where I learn something new about myself. Here are just a few things I’ve discovered about myself this year.

1. I love mustard as a colour and as a condiment.
You can keep your tomato sauce, keep your horseradish and soy, and give me mustard any old day. It goes well with hot chips, hot dogs, steak, cheese and as a dip with corn chips. Don’t even get me started on how great it looks as a knitted jumper. Try it, it’ll change your world.

2. I actually enjoy living with my mother.
It’s rare to find a 34-year old who decides to live with their parents and actually enjoys it. When I was 25 I couldn’t wait to get out of the house and leave my folks behind. I went overseas, lived in the UK for a couple of years and then returned to never leave the nest again. Yes, I’ve travelled since, but there seems to be no point in leaving a house where I can be myself, know someone will find me if I’m on the floor choking, and I have someone who gives a shit whether I make it home each night. It’s rare to find someone that cares about you so much, so I’m going to take it, and enjoy it. Think of it as an older version of the Gilmore Girls.

3. I’m never going to believe I’m a good writer.
If I’ve learned one thing from studying as an adult is that it’s okay not be perfect. I’ve been studying writing for three years, or maybe it’s been four, and my confidence in my skills has not grown, not one bit. However, my confidence with being okay with not being perfect has improved dramatically. I’ve learned that I’d much prefer to share my writing , then to try to perfect a piece and never have it go anywhere, ever. What’s the point? So I’ve decided to live a little, and you should too. Write it all down, share it on your blog, with the local newspaper, whatever it is, just share it and go for it. What’s the worst that could happen?

4. Money does not make me happy, but reading funny stories and hanging with people I love does.
I’ve done my fair share of shopping, and don’t get me wrong, I love it. But not once have I ever bought something that has rocked my world enough to increase my level of happiness.* Yes, the purchase makes me feel good, almost as much as the chase, but at the end of the day, I’m going to keep my clams in the bank where they belong, for now, and spend more time having cups of tea with people I love, and sharing stories and opinions on the world around us. Now that is what I live for.
*Note: Books always make me feel better, but they’re not included as a shopping item as they are a necessity, like food.

5. Scary movies are scary!
I’m still waiting to recover from watching Twin Peaks as a young girl. The scene where the old man with the long hair is crouching in the corner of Laura Palmer’s room still gives me the heebie-jeebies, but that didn’t stop me from watching every other scary movie known to man. Now I’m a little older, I’m a little wiser. I still watch scary shows, poo my pants while watching them, then watch something a lot less scary like Brooklyn Nine-nine as a chaser, and then listen to a podcast while I’m sleeping. This ensures that I do not, under no circumstance have a nightmare that night. However, this has only proven to be effective 50% of the time.


Five points of a writer’s self-discovery.
Before I started my Diploma in Professional Editing and Writing, writing began as an insomniac’s idea. It was also an idea to help me through depression caused by an injury, which ruined my previous career. Now it’s opened up an entire world for me and given career options I never even considered.

1. Proofreading.
My biggest problem as a writer was proofreading my own work. The task is all about perception and it pays to have a second or even a third pair of eyes at your disposal. Let’s face it, reading your work in your head can be useless and sometimes reading aloud doesn’t cut it at times either.

2. Writing Buddies.
It’s an extension of proofreading, though it’s so much more. I’ve read many novels with two authors and I never quite understood this until I discovered the writing buddy system. What starts with two authors befriending and proofing each other’s work can become an amazing workshopping experience, with two heads creating something neither could alone.

3. Workshopping.
Buddy writing is a binary workshopping effort, though engaging in workshopping with an entire class can be an amazing process beneficial to many writers. It delivers an insight one may never obtain with solo writing efforts, and how I became aware of how much tighter my writing needed to be.

4. Tight Writing.
Tight writing is something I’ve never been able to execute well until now. In workshopping sessions and in the incredibly diverse themes explored in assignments I have started to train myself in tightening up those words. During these assignment adventures, I’ve discovered a dormant love for research projects.

5. Technical and Research Writing.
I very rarely dabbled in technical writing and research, though now they’ve become something I’m very passionate about. Before I started looking on job search websites, did I know how high the demand for technical writers of many specialities was? Research, project, procedure, operations, and human resource training all fall under the technical writing banner.
* * *

Thanks to all the students who gave me permission to post their listicles. Like any writing assignment, you might start with a set topic but of course each writer's own experiences, world view and creative ideas make for a different response!

No comments: