Thursday, March 8, 2012

Relaxation, relief, writing

By Amelia Heath, Copy Editor

Two weeks ago, one of my fellow Mast editors issued a challenge to start reading more for leisure. This week, I would like to turn that challenge on its head: I want you to start writing more for leisure.

Now, I know you have a busy schedule. We all do. But I really encourage you to start writing on a regular basis, be it once a day, once a week, once a month or anywhere in between.

Write about whatever you want.

It can be fact or fiction or a combination of the two. It can be about something that happened to you or someone you know. It can be about something that didn’t happen.

It can be a simple narrative. It can be a list. It can be a poem or a song. It can be a letter to a friend or even to yourself.

Write however you want.

Write by hand in a journal. Type it up on your computer. If you don’t mind the impermanence or the likelihood that other people will see it, grab a handful of Expo markers and write it on the windows and mirrors in your dorm room.

If you decide to write in a journal or on your computer, don’t be afraid to take it with you when you go out.

Go ahead and be that mockable hipster who spends Thursday evening in the back corner of NPCC writing and knocking back cup after cup of coffee; you might even find me at the next table.

Write as much as  you want.

Whether it’s just a few lines or a hundred pages, I guarantee it is worth whatever space it takes.

Don’t feel like you have to polish your writing; for that matter, don’t feel like you have to finish each entry.  If you want to, that’s great, but remember: This is something you are writing for yourself.

It doesn’t have to be perfect.

Your professors aren’t going to storm into your room with what I call the Red Pen of Doom and rip your writing to shreds. Those obnoxious people who correct their friends’ spelling and grammar in their Facebook comments (RE: people like me) are not going to “correct” your work.

It’s your writing. As long as you don’t have a problem with your writing, it is correct.

For some of you, the thought of having one more thing to do after a long day of classes, homework and spending time with friends and family just doesn’t sound that appealing.

Try not to think of writing for leisure as just another chore; instead, think of it as an outlet, a release for the stress that gets pent up with all your other chores.

It isn’t often that you’ll receive a creative writing assignment for your biology class.

When you’re writing for yourself, though, you have free reign over your creation.

I get a headache just thinking about writing an essay for class, but at the end of the day I get a huge sense of relief just by sitting down with my notebook and pen.