From Me To Future You

Today’s Chopped, write a memo of advice you would give to newer students in the program. I liked what I wrote enough to post it here:


There will be no hand holding. There will be gnashing of teeth, rending of garments, and appeals to deities above.

You will feel doubt and stress.

You will wonder and want to quit.

You will hate busy work.

You will not see the big picture until the last piece of the puzzle has been put into place.

You will…

I think you get the picture.

What do you do? Gather round this document and heed the words of someone who has been there. First and most important, the assignments are not who you are as a writer. The assignments will assist you in becoming the writer will become. To that end, do the work, put your best effort forth. Slacking off will be easy. Slacking off will be expected. Defy expectations, especially your own. The work you put forth speaks volumes about who you are now and who you will become. Set the standard of excellence today and when you need to be excellent you already are.

Second, love writing. Don’t write because you have to write. Don’t write for a grade. Write for yourself. Good writers do the following: read, write, read, and write some more. That is just the good writers. Write for yourself and write outside of class. Get a blog, a journal, a notebook, or anything you can think of, but write for yourself. Coursework will keep busy. Do not let coursework replace writing for yourself. You will need that time to put your thoughts to paper or screen.

Third, make time for to write for yourself. Do that today. A half-hour a day at minimum.

Fourth, find other people to write with. Writing is a solitary activity, but the process of writing does not have to be. Find others who you can write with, talk writing with, inspire, who inspire you, and who when the writing is done, have fun with.

There is plenty more advice that I could give, but those four bits will get you started and see you through, I believe you will discover the rest as you go.

Nate Richmond


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