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Dare to dream: From academic writing to writing our dreams

Heather Hesselink

Heather Hesselink

For many college students, taking the time to write is something we do just for our English classes. However, some of us come to college with a different goal in mind. For some, publishing a written piece of work is the ultimate goal from our college experiences. But with fear of rejection, many will never go on to pursue the dream of having their work published.

Most students know what it is like to receive “rejection” from our professors on papers we have worked on for hours.  But rejections can do more than just help us write better academic papers. For the select students who plan on one day being able to publish their work, being able to accept a rejection letter is a big step in the world of writing.

Award-winning writer Lee Chambers, author of  The Pineville Heist, told me recently that like most authors, he has a big pile of rejection letters. “They make a nice collage,” he said.  But he also reminded that just because you have received a rejection letter, does not mean the work you have done is bad. Finding the right publisher for you is also important when submitting your  work, he explained.

“Publishers only dedicate so much time, money and energy on a specific number of books,” Chambers said. “The first hurdle to get over is any negative perceptions you may have of self-publishing and the whole E-publish idea.”  Chambers is high on the idea of self-publishing, noting that for little or no money, anyone can publish and possibly sell their work around the world.

“This wave of publishing is starting to rock the big boys and starting to outsell paper,” Chambers said in an online communication. He also conceded that most self-published books are simply not original. His answer? “Write a good book with engaging characters, package and market it to look like a best seller, and make sure there are no mistakes.”

Coming up with an original idea may seem like an impossible task, a task that can seem even more impossible for someone struggling to be able to properly use the writing tools taught to us by our professors. But by using the techniques we have learned in English classes, we find that writing slowly becomes easier.

At the moment it may not seem like writing an English 110 compare and contrast essay could really be teaching you something about your own work. But in reality, it’s not until the next time you sit down and write that you realize just how much practicing academic writing can influence your writing process.

Daring to dream can be as important as finding a good writing process that works for you. Once that passion is found, hold on to that dream. Then work as hard as you can to make it real.

(Heather Hesselink is a staff writer for The Laker Current.)


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