Thursday, February 23, 2012

Dead Bodies and Confidence Boosts

I had the most amazing experience in my Creative Writing class yesterday and of course I just had to share it with all of you. In the class whenever we reach a due date for a piece our professor asks a few people to let her show their drafts to the class so they can look at it and decide what works well and what still needs work; it allows the readers to gain a greater understanding of the assignment by analyzing another piece and gives the writers a chance to receive input on their drafts and ideas for editing. Usually she will send an email out to two or three people asking them if she can use their drafts but this time she emailed the whole class asking for them from one or two people so I decided to send her one now, willingly, than risk her asking me for one later that I didn't feel good about.

The assignment drafts we were looking at that day were short stories that included code-switching and were centered around a dead body or a dismembered limb, so needless to say it had been an interesting piece to write. While critiquing the draft before mine I was mentally preparing myself for my draft to get picked apart from every angle- actually I was looking forward to it as I could think of quite a few things I wanted to change in the draft. When she pulled mine up I opted to have someone else read it rather than reading it myself because I've been sick the past week. When they had finished reading it the professor asked what everyone thought and after a few moments of nothingness, which worked my nerves a bit, a girl said "it was awesome!", which was followed by a round of agreement from the rest of the class. They went on to point out what they liked and thought worked well and to mention what I could work on to make it better. Some of the things that people brought up that they really liked were things I hadn't even given much thought to; the critique made me see my own piece in ways I hadn't before.

It was a truly amazing experience being able to have others explain to me what they got out of my piece, what worked really well, and what could use some work. It is an experience that I believe every aspiring writer should have, which is why I'm making the ability to receive constructive criticism from other students, from people who honestly want to help you make your piece the best it can be, the second reason on my list of reasons why any aspiring writer should major in creative writing.

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