or at least that’s what I have to keep telling myself as the school year is now in full-swing. Actually it’s more accurate to say overtime-swing. Full I could handle, but for some reason I look at my schedule at the beginning of every semester and think ‘It won’t be so bad this time.’ And then every semester I am quickly overwhelmed at how much work I have signed myself up for. Before I get ahead of myself, here is a brief look back on my summer before I move into my current endeavors: Interning at the Deseret News was the best experience I could have asked for. Not only did I discover a lot about myself and what I wanted to do for the future, but I learned a lot about the technical side of running a newspaper. It was quite interesting to learn that the staff at the DN has their own specific style of writing and editing that I hadn’t seen before. I sincerely want to thank all of my colleagues and mentors at the DN for helping me out with this FANTASTIC experience. I was so busy that I completely forgot to update my blog the entire time I worked there! But now that school has started I can hopefully get back into a routine again.
Ah, yes. School. The bane of my existence right now. Ok, that’s not entirely true. I actually like school, (yes I’m one of THOSE students) but I find myself running out of classes to take and I definitely feel like I should be moving on to the next stage in my life. But for now, I’ll just let you know what I’m up to.
I’m taking a Video Editing class, which is turning out to be a lot of fun. I was overwhelmed at first with all the technical programs we had to learn to use because I had never touched a real camcorder in my life! Our first assignment was to create a video introducing ourselves to the class which I will attach below. Remember that this is my first attempt at creating and editing a video so it is very amateur-ish SO NO MAKING FUN! (My video was actually voted the best in the class and I got some extra credit for that honor)
We’re already starting to work on our group video (more details about that later) and I am working on filming a montage.
I’m taking a (much needed) family finance class as well as HOCKEY!!!! I’m so glad to get back into my skates!
I am still working on the Aggie BluePrint magazine team and we already have our first issue of the semester up. Unfortunately I did not contribute to the September issue, but look forward to 3 articles written by me in the October issue, which I am frantically trying to get done this weekend. I just interviewed Yvone Kobe today about freshman research opportunities. We have also earned enough grant money to make a print edition this semester, which is already in progress. Though it won’t be published until closer to finals, we are planning some epic articles for this very special edition!
My last class is Advanced Fiction which I am thoroughly enjoying since this is pretty much what I want to do down the road. I’ve picked up a lot of great tips and quotes on writing (I’m creating a quote wall with some of the best ones to hand in my boring apartment). Today we got the opportunity to listen to a visiting author, Dinty Moore, come and speak. I really enjoyed listening to Moore speak about his Buddhist influences on writing and becoming a ‘mindful’ writer (book pictured).
Moore defined mindfulness as not only focusing on what you are doing in the moment, during writing or otherwise, but he also said that a mindful writer is aware of why they want to write. Moore said there are four golden truths about writing:
- The writing life is difficult and full of dissatisfaction.
- Much of this dissatisfaction comes from our personal EGO and our insistence on controlling the process and creation of writing as well as audience reaction.
- There is a way to lessen this dissatisfaction and live a more satisfying life of writing.
- In order to do so, we must practice mindfulness; worrying less about ourselves and being open to the world around us.
When Moore suggested that our personal Ego is in fact preventing us from the pure emotive of writing, I took a good look at my own ambitions as a writer. Being a very driven person I find that not only do I want to be heard, but I want to be one day recognized for the work that I create. I wondered, ‘Is this a bad thing for a writer to wish for? Is it wrong for us to have ambitions or to imagine future success?’
Today is not like the past, where there were only a few well-known writers in a world where being a novelist was generally not a respected position (especially amongst women). But today there are thousands of writers, all struggling and clamoring over each other to be noticed. Is it so wrong that we want our individual voice to be heard? Is it bad that we want to make our mark alongside these great writers in the history of the world? I have a lot of respect for fellow writer Dinty Moore, but truthfully, he is not likely to go down in history as a famous writer, one equally known as Dickens or Bronte. Even if his books make it to the top of the nation’s best-seller list—what is the likelihood that he will be remembered hundreds of years from now? Those are the odds every writer wants to overcome when they present their creation into the world; we want to be remembered. Personally, I don’t think that the Ego, at least in that sense, is such a bad thing. For me, it’s a huge driving force in my life.
However, there was one comment that I thought was very appropriate regarding the pure reasons of writing. We write, not just because we want to be heard, but because we believe we have something unique to share with the rest of the world. My favorite quote that he recited from his book is this: “Inspiration is for amateurs. The rest of us just show up and get to work.” We can’t wait for inspiration to hit us. That is the difference between a professional writer and someone who wants to be a writer. A real writer is using his pen every day, even on bad writing days. A good writer finds her best ideas through trial and error, not through inspiration. This is a hard personal lesson that I’ve had to learn over the past couple years. Oftentimes I hold off on a story until I have grasped that inspired plot twist or witty dialogue instead of sitting down to work on the story itself. But writing every day has not only helped me form good writing habits, but some of my best ideas have come from rambling on paper, and sometimes a blog :)