I Get It: A Consultant’s Writing Pep Talk

I get it. I really do. We all have those assignments that we get from our professors. This “gift” is almost always followed by a collective groan and the small urge to cry. I’m talking about those assignments that make us say to ourselves, “Oh my gosh, why do I need to do this?” Often these sentiments are related to the idea that our professors, in fact, hate us and live to torture us. Contrary to popular belief, I assure that is not their goal in life. It may not always seem like it, but I promise you that they care and want you to succeed.

So maybe you have resigned yourself to the fact that you have to write this paper. You’ve accepted this. What you haven’t figured out, however, is why you should care. Writing has nothing to do with your major, right? Well, let me try to convince you that this may not be true. Even when it doesn’t seem like it, writing is an ever-present part of life, both in the academic and “real-world” spheres. It can take many different forms such as writing an email, thank you card, or even making a speech. That is all writing. And writing does not have to be torture. If you change the way you think of it, it can actually become something really beautiful.

Now, I realize you may not believe me about that. You don’t have to. But perhaps I can at least get you to see why you should care about your writing assignments. There are the obvious reasons of course. Maybe you have to get good grades or your parents will be mad at you. You know how important your GPA is. Maybe you have to keep up good grades in all your classes in order to play a sport. These are all good reasons, but what else is there? What if turning a paper you are proud of makes you feel more confident? What if developing your skills as a writer could help you in the long run?

Well, now you are probably wondering how that is possible, especially if you are not an English major. It doesn’t matter if you become a nurse, a psychologist, or a lawyer, writing will always be there. Improving your skills as a writer will help improve your people skills and the way you communicate with others. Being able to express your thoughts on paper means you will be able to do it in person. Learning good writing skills in college is something that can stick with you for the rest of your life. Now is the time to cultivate what you learn and improve, not only your writing, but yourself as well.

The more you write, the easier it becomes and the better you get at it. Don’t be afraid to put pen to paper and to quote the movie Frozen, “Let it go”. Learn to express yourself and set your feelings and thoughts free. I bet you never thought of writing as an act of liberation, did you? Well, it can be! It can be so much more than tortuous homework. And the more effort you put into those assignments, the more effort you put into yourself. That is why you should care about your assignments. Let them be something you are proud of, something you feel good about. You are capable even when you think you aren’t. You just have to try.

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