When you take a writing course, whether it is one of the 1000 level English courses or one of the later courses, there is one aspect of writing that can get missed. Now, I’m not saying that it is always missed. There may be professors that discuss this with their students, but I don’t remember having a professor lay this out for me. What I’m talking about is separating yourself from your writing. This can be a difficult thing to do. When putting the words onto the page, it can be easy to become attached to those words. They represent your ideas and thoughts, and when you get back comments and critiques, you could feel like you are the one being critiqued.
I’m here to tell you that you aren’t being critiqued. You are not being attacked. Comments and critiques are there to push you to become a better writer. Critiquing your words is not the same as critiquing you as a person. You need to find a way to separate yourself from your writing. I struggled doing this when I started here at EIU. The way I got past it was immersion therapy. I took a creative writing course, and for those unfamiliar with how it works, I shall explain. You bring in a piece of writing and sit there in silence while everyone else in the class dissects it. It was rough the first time I did this. No one said anything mean or harsh, but I still felt hurt. The next time I had something workshopped it wasn’t as bad. I got used to it and was able to take this separation to my other courses.
So if you are trying to figure out how to separate yourself from your writing, try a creative writing workshop. It worked for me. Of course, this strategy might not work with everyone, so if you have other ideas, post it as a comment. How do you manage to separate yourself from your writing?