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I almost missed a deadline once - then realized that I didn't. One day (on a Sunday) I got my work in about 30 minutes before the deadline. I was very tired the next day. I was very glad that my assignments for this class were on a syllabus list, and that I could check them off and keep myself organized using that list. At one point, I was a week ahead on my assignments. Then I started to get behind, because of extra work and copying of documents for a campus club. I realized that I had to put myself into a higher gear if I was to finish my classwork (in all my classes) and immediately went into "emergency mode", spending almost every minute studying or organizing for every class, including my 401 writing class. This helped a lot, and now I am back on track, and can see the goal.

Workshops and Group Membership, including Feedback

Being in this writing group helped me a lot.Although not every group member was always available to help critique, most were there for me and helped me. They and I exchanged feedback for each other and even got together online to discuss assignments at the beginning of the semester.  I believe that my feedback was very helpful, as theirs was to me. My feedback was timely - and honest. I don't remember being late with feedback, but I do remember being worried about it once. I took a lot of time with each writer, and read each work very carefully. I was not able to use Mycomplab.com, because I could not find the review area, but I did go to the site and register. I sent a copy of my first drafts to a friend also to get their opinion.

I gave anonymous feedback when it was needed, and did extra feedback as well. I think that my feedback was very thorough. I think that the members of my class group have a good relationship,and this helped a lot, because we were able to talk to each other freely.

My Writing

The only reason I became an English major was because it was easier for me than other disciplines. It became like a game to see how quickly I could compose a paper. When I took this class, it became obvious that there was a lot I didn't know about writing. I didn't know how to properly engage a theme and keep with it, I didn't know about current writing issues (creative non-fiction, for one thing), and I didn't place the proper emphasis on writing. Because of this class, I know thatI must dedicate myself to improving my writing. The best way to improve my writing is to write! I was so impressed by the depth of the non-fiction writing in The Fourth Genre, and someday I hope to be able to write as well. Maybe with practice, I can.

After reading Stephen King's "On Writing" and Anne Lamott's book "Bird by Bird", I now realize that even the most successful writer has to start at the absolute beginning. Plus, because these authors do it, I believe that I can now take my other writing and edit it mercilessly. Someday I will get that novel written, or some short stories or a poetry collection. I would like to enlarge my focus and concentrate on keeping my writing practice up until the someday that I might become famous, and make my teacher famous. Dr. Judith Szerdahelyi has given her students a dream with this class, and I intend to follow it. I have made a website page and hope to have another one someday with my published works on it as an additional link.

I don't know if what I wrote in this class is the best writing I've done, but in my heart I feel it could be. The reason is that I tried very hard to improve it, writing and re-writing each piece many times. Even now, I am not totally satisfied with any of it, but it's time to move on to other projects. I guess that's how it is, though, when you are a writer, as Anne Lamott says in her book, "Bird by Bird". You finally have to stop and say, "That's it for now." I have worked very hard in this class, and I believe it was well worth it. I know that I am going to be a lot more serious about my writing. Already, my writing group is asking, "Well? Where is your writing? You need to get going!"    




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