Archive for category 2. Before You Get Started

CREATIVITY IN WRITING

A brilliant man by the name of Albert Einstein once said, “Creativity is intelligence having fun.” Therefore, one can jump to the conclusion that creativity is essential when it comes to being an awesome writer. This quote also reminds us that creativity is fun and writing can be as well. While there are no set rules for creativity, I have come up with four simple guidelines regarding creative writing. These guidelines involve having an open mind, thinking outside of the box, using your imagination, and being bold and brave in expressing your thoughts and ideas.

The first guideline involves having an open mind and a broad worldly view that takes in everything around you. Having a closed minded attitude and a thick headed mindset is a terrible way to approach being a creative thinker and/or writer. Instead, a more tactful approach to being creative when it comes to writing is to have a perceptive outlook on certain topics at hand. This means being open to new ideas and even new ideas of thinking. Reading other great writers can be a source of inspiration and learning.

My second rule of thumb is to think outside of the box. Yes, of course, you have to follow guidelines and rubrics if you want to be successful in writing. However, one also needs to think beyond the guidelines in order to let one’s creativity shine. So, think beyond the rules and try to look at things from different angles and perspectives at all times.

A third rule to go by is to maximize the use of your imagination. A good way to tap into your imagination is to dream out loud. Of course, dreaming takes time, but it is crucial for envisioning interesting possibilities. Creative writers spend a lot of time ruminating on their thoughts and ideas, so be sure to allow time for dreaming.

My final suggestion for being a creative writer is to be bold and brave. Yes, creativity involves bravery and the willingness to not hold back on great ideas even if they seem off base. The way I see it, is that creativity is like a computer, you simply have to hack into it. By tapping into your creative mind, you unlock all of the interesting ideas waiting to be brought to your attention. The good news is that this kind of hacking is legal and can bring great results.

Hopefully by now, you can see that creativity is a very important factor in regards to writing. As Einstein suggests, creativity is also fun. So, my advice is to view writing as a fun endeavor and open yourself to it. Be open and perceptive, think outside the box, imagine and dream, and be brave and bold in expressing your thoughts and ideas. Be willing to tap into your creative mind and let the interesting ideas flow out of you like a river running free. If you follow these simple suggestions, I am sure that you will become a great creative writer, too.

 

Vocal Lessons

When you’re reading this, I hope you can read it without the little voice in your head mimicking me in a monotone robot voice. Reading and writing a paper can be boring, and fresh out of high school you probably agree with that. Now that you’re entering a new world of college writing, free of the structure… you’re going to need to be able to hold your own.  Creativity is now not only acceptable, but encouraged and almost a necessity! Simply adding your own voice into a paper can take a topic about something your completely uninterested in, into a paper that makes you seem more enthusiastic. This then, makes your paper so others can connect to it easier as well. So that’s what I’m here to talk about. The voice you portray in your writing, which should be your own!

Having a paper without a personal voice included can be informative, but is anyone going to want to read the material? It’s boring, and honestly its going to make it harder to write. When you add your own voice you have more options with what you talk about, such as the examples you use and the arguments you can construct. I know that when I’m writing a 5-6-page paper, with out adding a little bit of my ideas, I’m going to get a solid 2-3 pages. Especially in an argument paper, my  evidence is usually backed up by my defensive personality, which comes through in papers with strong wording and examples. When you can use your own passion on explaining a point, your paper automatically becomes more interesting and powerful. You can get more information down on paper, when you can back up your statements with your opinion and strong examples of evidence.

Now, voice is not to be confused with the common term “fluff”. Fluff is information that is used to essentially “fluff” up or create more space in your paper to make it longer. That information is unnecessary and can be easily detected. Voice in a paper is encouraged and distinguishes a good paper from a great paper. One simple way of adding your voice into a paper is by using examples that you can relate to. The worst thing you could do is try and explain something you are not familiar with (that’s where most people start to fluff). If your interested/invested in the example it will be easier for you to tell the reader in a more personable fashion, so they can have more of a connection with the material. Having voice in your writing makes the piece more approachable, easier to get into the reading and makes it easier to understand, for the readers. If the reader feels like they are having a conversation with the author their more likely to stick around till the end of your piece. Reading from a “this is how… that is like… then they…“ kind of paper can loose the interest of the reader and they will just move on to something else.

One more piece of advice I can give on this material is to just have fun with it. In writing, it’s going to be a challenge finding your own personal writing style because it’s different for everyone. But once you do, your papers will stand out and will show merit. Just remember to put forth the effort and be yourself in your writing. You want to captivate your reader with your personality; your voice.

Newly Found Freedom

In high school I’m sure most of you, me included, had the same basic system: introduction with a two-sentence thesis at the end, three basic body paragraphs and a conclusion. This was simple but as most of us know, insanely boring. We dreaded the day our teachers would assign even a two-page paper. Part of the reason behind our disinterest was because every paper we ever wrote was instantly thrown into this mundane and tedious system. There was never any room for creativity or pushing the boundaries; all efforts of such would surely lead to lost points and a lower grade. Luckily, this isn’t the case once you have graduated.

Welcome to college! You have escaped the prison that was the high school writing system and finally reached the freedom that is college writing. Unfortunately this transition may not be as easy as it sounds, but don’t worry aspiring freshmen! All your questions and fears will soon be just distant memories. This is exactly what this section is for: to help guide you through this transition and allow you to thoroughly enjoy your newly found freedom.

How is College Writing Different?

All throughout high school there was mostly a single format of writing that applied to every category of your academic studies. It probably didn’t matter too much whether or not you were writing an english paper or a science paper, either way you were most likely going to follow the same writing formula, right? I know thats what I went through. It came as a big surprise to me when I started my freshman writing course that we were reading and studying essays on video games and texting slang. Neither of these essays following the “high school format” by the way. These essays were exciting, they were intriguing, they made me  want to read them. This is how college writing is different. You will be able to express more creativity, work on areas of your choice (sometimes), and truly show how well you can write when given the chance to work outside of the strict guidelines of the high school format.

What Should I do to Prepare for this Change?

Read! Read everything, from the daily news to celebrity tabloids! While you’re reading make sure to look at what pieces and bits interest you, how the writer keeps your attention throughout the piece and how the writer formats this “paper”. These are all techniques that you can use to help ease the transition of writing in the different formats you will use in college.

I’m sure you’re thinking to yourself “how will an article on Taylor Swift help me in my English class?” but it will! When the writer of that article sat down, he or she had to think about all the things you will have to think about when writing your papers: how to hook the reader, how to keep the audience interested, and how to get their point across in an efficient and effective way. Look at all of these things while you read and you will be able to learn many different effective writing styles that you may have not considered before.