Stop looking at Instagram and just get started!

Friday, November 6, 2015
by Valerie Walker

(Unless it's our Instagram you're looking at!)

When you look at someone else’s Instagram account you see the great vacation, the beautiful hair, the new girlfriend, and the winning game. You don’t see the peeling sunburn, all the days she hid under a hat, the heartbreak it took him eight months to get over, or the years and years of practice that led to a single successful game.

Writing is the same way. We study Shakespeare, the Brontes, and Steinbeck. We learn that words should be beautiful, exciting, full of love and success, just like the Instagram account. But for every classic Jane Eyre there’s an also-ran Shirley,

jane eyre book cover
Shirley book cover

and for every Shirley there are thousands of terribly written books that were published, and uncounted numbers more that weren’t published.

So writing second-rate prose is normal. In fact, maybe second-rate is better than most of what gets written.

terrible book cover

The great authors who created masterpieces did not do so in one draft. They revised, and revised, and revised. It took them years to write those books. Reviewers and editors helped them.

They also managed to write because they simply got started. Instead of being paralyzed by the very idea of writing, then spending the next hour looking at other people’s perfect lives on Instagram, they sat down and started to write. When they got stuck, they asked for help.

The writing centre is always happy to help, but next Monday we’re part of a special event designed to nudge everyone toward getting down to work and getting things done.  It’s called the Long Night Against Procrastination (LNAP). Here are the details:

LNAP poster

Location: Student Life Centre


6:15 – 6:45 pm – Time Management
6:45 – 7:15 pm – Meditation Activity
7:15 – 7:45 pm – Starting to Research
8:15 – 8:45 pm – Stretch Activity
9:15 – 9:45 pm – Writing from Start to Finish
10:15 – 10:45 pm – Sleep Yoga

The first 100 participants will receive a wellness package, and we’ve got all kinds of other great prizes all night long. Join us for as much or as little as you want!

Bring us your writing and we’ll help you through the process. You can find out more about LNAP on our website

And please, take all the time you want on our Instagram. It has all kinds of writing tips to help you on your way to becoming a master.