Little life lessons debriefed in 5 and under.
HOW TO: Respect your talent (even without accolades)
WARNING: This is a sensitive topic with me. Be prepared for some bias ranting.
I could be bitter. I could pump hateorade on all ya’ll, but I won’t. I won’t because I need to be the bigger man in this whole ordeal I face on a daily basis. I need to take this thorn in my side and make the best out of it. The best out of this annoying thing in life called “the politics of things,” that once stated seems to make anything that is unfair instantly fair. Here’s how I do it.
1. Know yourself.
Take for example, oh I don’t know… me. I’ve been writing since I can pick up a pen. I wrote my first poem when I was 6. And it was terrible, but I thought it was the greatest thing ever. I wrote my first story when I was 7, AND did my own illustrations and guess what? It was terrible! But I still did it, and that’s the point. Of course I’ve evolved from when I was a child, but that doesn’t mean i’m not good. Don’t let anybody tell you (and don’t let yourself believe) that just because you’ve been doing it for a long time doesn’t mean you’re good. YES IT DOES. YES IT DOES MEAN THAT. I rest my case.
2. Know your audience.
If you’re writing a blog for your marketing teacher don’t write about how advertising and marketing is the bane of your existence. And don’t hyperlink Bill Hicks explaining why advertising and marketing is the devil. Just don’t. I don’t know this from experience… all I know is that you won’t get good marks, or make a decent connection with your teacher. But I don’t know that… Bottom line, don’t write in a voice you yourself can’t connect with. People are gonna tell you’re blowing smoke up their a**.
3. If you don’t win awards, it doesn’t mean they didn’t like your writing.
It just means someone was better than you. And don’t take it to heart. I’ve never won a writing award in my life, and I don’t let that get me down! I just say “they didn’t get it” and pretend that my poetry was too “deep” for them. When really it was just too vulgar and profane. I shouldn’t write about the sex I hear through my paper thin walls. People who write about the moonlight reflecting off the water in the nighttime will always win. ALWAYS. And it’s unfortunate, but there’s nothing you can do about it if you want to stay true to yourself.
4. Don’t write for others, write for yourself.
And write a lot. One day, someone important, who truly understands what’s in your heart will read it and tell you everything you’ve always wanted to hear… naturally. And if that day never comes… then you’re obviously born in the wrong time.
5. Don’t fall under the trap of musicians.
I made the mistake of using Bright Eyes as my template for the majority of my writing since I was young. A muse can be good until you get lost in their voice and can’t find your own anymore. Now I find myself writing about drugs I’ve never done and passing out in apartments I don’t have. Having a muse is good, just remember what you have inside of you; your heart. And it’ll always speak to you.
So if you never get your big break don’t fret, your mom will still be your #1 fan..
HOW TO: Stay effortless under pressure
Don’t lie. You’ve been given an assignment, scan for the due date and you see that you have a four week gap between today and when it’s due. Easy peasy! It’s unfortunate that you have such an active social life. Walking dead isn’t going to watch itself! And you must get your nails done, and that Girls Night Out is looking mighty tasty… What was due today again? Shit. But don’t fear, I have 5 tips that will make your assignment a work of academia art.
5. Listen to tunes
I promise you, music will help. Go for the likes of The Weeknd, or Lana Del Ray, or something else super girly and cliche. Whatever jams you rock out to, listen to them. Your mind will catch on to the pattern of the song, the rhythm, the lyricism, the beat, and your assignment will flow out onto that page. Listen carefully to the lyrics as well. You may hear some good adjectives or verbs or synonyms for your assignment that you just couldn’t think of on your own.
This may not be the cats pj’s for everybody, but if you have T-5 minutes to write up a report, it would be ill-advised to be in a room full of friends. Why? Because if you’re an extrovert like me you’re gonna cause a rucus. You’re gonna talk, you’re gonna wanna make fun of your best friend, and you may be tempted to give somebody a noogie. When it come down to brass tacks – stay clear of your peers.
3. Timing is everything
If your assignment is to be in the teachers hand at 5:30 and you’re only starting at 3 you have to seriously consider what is realistic. Allocate specific chunks of time for different tasks. For example, from 3 – 3:30 you focus on research and be content with what you find. From 3:30 – 4:30 you write a rough draft. From 4:30 – 4:45 you edit. From 4:45 – 5:15 you write a good copy. And at 5:15 you can print it off and be done with it! Setting little instant goals will be crucial for crunch time.
2. Cheat Sheet
I’m not saying copy verbatim someone else’s work and slap your name on it. The teachers are going to notice that you added an extra adjective here and there to make it seem legitimate. They see through that stuff. But there is a classy way to oopmh up your work and still sleep well at night! This may not apply to the urgent rush, but if this ever happens again (which it shouldn’t) make sure in the meantime that you not only write notes from your texts, but notes of what your teacher says. Instant filler! If you can add in their own words you’ll sound like a well-educated scholar; they said it, it has to be right. And you can barely even call that cheating!
1. Frankie says… Relax
And for good reason. Stressing about getting it done just wastes time! If you want it done, then stop stressing, and start doing. Easier said than done for most, but if you can get a goal of 100% out of your head and just focus on the most important task at hand, you’ll be content with what you produce . Remember, you did do this to yourself.
Now, let’s not have this happen again, shall we?