time to go write a paper

ugh, i gotta find someone to go see thor with me, why does no one i know like superhero movies??

i might ask my new paper-writing-partner but i don’t know him at all so i don’t know how well that’ll go down

we’ll see, i can always go by myself even if i don’t want to

I somehow managed to get the paper I’m presenting next Friday done and sent off. For the first time in weeks I don’t have immediate conference prep or paper writing guilt hanging over me. Dissertation guilt shouldn’t kick in until I next see my advisor on Monday.

I’m so very tired. I’m going to eat ice cream and watch Princess Ida.

anonymous asked:

pls expand on your ridiculous experiences during one semester at a fake college

okay I got a few asks about this so let me see what I can remember right now. These might not all be in chronological order

- At orientation, they were talking about the reservation near campus and all these pretty sites and this kid in the back of the auditorium goes “So uhh…heard this place might be built over a Native American burial ground?”

- The speaker: “…Let’s not think about that, okay?”

- The freshman were on campus alone for like a week and a half (other than the RA’s) before the other students and I just. The parties. Were out of control. An ambulance was called basically every night.

- I walked into the bathroom the first night there to find a girl literally dying because someone slipped something in her drink and she was having a Very Bad Reaction

- Sting- you know, the singer- ‘s son lived in my residence hall. This boy almost accidentally killed me on three separate occasions (while I was just trying to do my laundry)

- I told my family about this at Thanksgiving. Everyone in the room advised me to seduce him

- I ate breakfast in the dining hall exactly once. I got scrambled eggs. I noticed no one had brought out ketchup with the condiments and politely asked about it. I received glares from at least ten different people. Apparently people there don’t believe in ketchup on eggs.

- There were these two boys in my English class known as “The Lumbard Guys”. They didn’t live in my residence hall, but they would come over almost every night, start a party, and destroy part of the basement.

- At orientation this one kid got mad and set his shoe on fire to prove a point

- Also at orientation like??? My roommate disappeared???? And I never saw her again???

- Listen like…this campus just looked like the perfect setting for a horror film, but none of the people from the area got that. They all thought I was crazy until some comic from Comedy Central did a stand up act and said “Why the hell is this campus so creepy? I feel like I’m gonna leave here with someone else wearing my face!”. I felt way too validated.

- ALL OF MY CLASSES WERE SO FAKE

- My “math” class was actually a disguised home ec. course???? All we had were word problems that were incredibly detailed recipes or instructions on how to fix things. The teacher, who I swear to GOD was actually my Mr-Rogers-Wannabe guidance counselor from high school in disguise, spent more time trying to come up with names and backstories for the models in the text book than actually trying to teach

- I had to take a class called “first year seminar” because neither of my parents went to college. It was supposed to be teaching you about how the school works and stuff but SUPRISE BITCH WE’RE JUST GONNA YELL ABOUT RACISM AND PRIVELGE FOR AN HOUR.

- Literally that’s all we did. Just the whole class bonding over all these struggles we had gone through and getting fired up. Like, it was great, but I also ended up knowing very little about campus and school stuff bc that was the class that was supposed to be teaching me lmao

- My Psych teacher was fucking hysterical for the first few classes but then he just. Vanished. I had to drop the class

- My Fine Arts teacher just. Couldn’t stick to a teaching plan. Her entire wardrobe was scarves. She was very passionate about African masks. She had a flapper haircut. She spoke quietly, but with a marvelously forced tone of voice that I’m certain was her trying to sound impressive and hide a Boston accent. She didn’t seem to understand the year was 2014. She took us into the city to go to the Art Museum and we lost her in there, never to be seen again

- I’m not even kidding

- My “writing” teacher was my absolute fav omfg. She was this long grey haired hippie lady who worked as a nurse for the Grateful Dead and was still stuck there. She may or may not have hooked up with my uncle. I was her favorite student because one day I came in wearing a “HAIR” shirt. She wanted to take the class to England for the sole purpose of going on a Beatles tour

- But like…she did not teach a writing class omfg. She taught a social justice class. All we did was have informed debates about The Issues and listen to music and occasionally watch the Breakfast Club. Every time there was a big paper due on the syllabus, she’d just sit on her desk and go “I mean, I don’t have to cover anything, right? You guys know how to write!” Like I genuinely don’t think she knew what class she was teaching

- There was a boy who sat next to me in that class. He was deaf in one ear and used that as an excuse when he got caught blatantly not paying attention. It worked every time. But I was right next to him. I saw him playing Yu-Gi-Oh on some website on his phone under the table. One time we started talking about model cars and he pre-cummed.

- There was a boy who roamed the campus in a long black trench coat and a weird hat. I never saw his body and started to suspect he might not have one, just the theory of one. He took interest in me because I was the only person in class who ever got his Doctor Who jokes. He’d come up to me at dinner and blast quiz me on various nerd culture before running off and disappearing into the shadows. Just as I was starting to grudgingly accept I was probably going to have to eventually hook up with him for the greater good, I apparently offended him by saying I like Picard more than Kirk. He didn’t stick around to listen to my reasoning. Whenever I saw him after that he would loudly start talking about how great his girlfriend was. Everyone knew he was lying. I wonder if Kirk ever sucked his theoretical dick as well as I would have.

- I gave a football player a shout out on Yik Yak. He really appreciated it, and gave me some fries laced with weed as a thanks. That was such A Night ™ , I watched the Lorax and left the dimension.

- Every time we had dances, this creepy guy named Horace would find me and use my obvious discomfort to make me dance with him. He’d hold my wrists and shove his crotch on mine while vaguely swaying to the beat. I had to escape to the bathroom every few minutes. Finally the security just banned him from the events altogether. I can still see his face clearly in my mind.

- One night, I walked into the bathroom to find a perfect, untouched pizza laying on the floor…but not in a box. Someone literally just took it out of the box and laid it down. I’m still fuming.

- One time I was in the mostly empty library when I smelled something. I walked down the rows of shelves before rounding the corner, and found the President of the college hidden there, sitting on the floor, smoking, a bottle of vodka in his hands. We held eye contact for a solid minute. He slowly shook his head at me. I said “Sir, your house is like…literally across the street.” He shook his head more vigorously. I left the library.

- One night, I heard screaming. I looked out the window to find a girl in a giraffe costume scaling my building. People were throwing water bottles at her. I was concerned. I didn’t know who to talk to for answers.

- I was in line trying to pay for dinner. One of the lunch ladies climbed on top of the ice cream machine and refused to come down. Her friend came over and they started recreating the balcony scene from Romeo and Juliet. Very few people acknowledged it.

- Someone jacked up the soda dispenser so it was only dispensing beer. None of the staff cared enough to fix it.

- I caught my RA in the middle of a drug deal so she gave me a coupon for free ice cream

- Also side note: The soft served ice cream machine on campus was actually a frozen yogurt machine. I had no problem with that, but like, advertise correctly, you know? Nobody else seemed to understand my confusion. Nobody else seemed to understand that froyo and ice cream are two different things. What the hell.

- There were just…so many moths all over the campus. A terrifying amount. When it started getting colder I was like, finally, I won’t be attacked by moths anymore! Only for even more moths to appear. I asked a local about it. “Oh, those are the winter moths!” What the fuck are winter moths? What the fuck, Massachusetts? My friend back home grew convinced that Mothman was in the area. I was inclined to believe her. Sometimes I close my eyes and all I can see are moths everywhere, waiting for the moment to strike.

-  I’ve encountered deer many times in my life. I know how they act around people. But the deer on this campus were just weird. They’d run out at people all the time. One almost shoved me into traffic.

- My roommate gave my phone number out to literally anyone she found who mentioned they liked to read or liked Doctor Who. She was concerned I had no friends. No one ever called.

- I met a small Greek girl in my Fine Arts class. Our first day of talking, she made me climb a mountain with her so she could get to tutoring, even though I had no reason to be in that building. Her roommates kept mysteriously disappearing. She was late to everything. She’d call me randomly to get food at 1 in the morning. She kept somehow breaking phones and tvs and other electronics. When I asked her how they kept breaking, she waved it off with “Oh, I have OCD. You wouldn’t understand”. I have OCD, and I still don’t understand. One time she invited me out with her friends from high school. I waited outside her building for two hours, while the other friends waited in the parking lot for two hours, because we didn’t know how to find each other. She eventually came outside at 10:30 pm. We went to Friendly’s. She made us stop at her house so she could grab something. We pulled up a long, winding driveway and stopped in a parking lot. At the end of the parking lot were stone stairs that lead up to a mansion on a hill. She ran inside and the rest of us stayed in the car, listening to High School Musical and talking about Supernatural. When she came out 40 minutes later we decided to try and prank her. It went wrong. We almost ran over her friend’s sister with the car. They invited me to a pumpkin patch. When I started complaining about my roommate, she asked me to move in with her. I thought about the other three girls who had seemingly gone missing. I politely declined. Six months after I left the school, I received a text from her asking for notes for an exam, and radio silence after that. I can’t find her on facebook. I fear she might have gone missing too.

- One night, as I was standing outside huddled in the cold, a boy came up and offered me a cigarette to help me stay warm. I turned it down, but he stood around talking to me for a few minutes afterwards. I felt absolutely no awkwardness at all. He was a musician from Colorado. He sang a bit of one of his songs. He was dropping out of school to go to California the next week. He told me I had beautiful eyes, but his were the most alive eyes I’ve ever seen so I couldn’t believe the compliment. We talked for about ten minutes and I fell a little bit in love. He had to rush off to a club meeting, but he told me he’d rather keep talking. He gave me the sweetest smile before he left. I didn’t get his last name or number and I never saw him again.

- There was a dance on Halloween. I couldn’t think of a sufficiently slutty yet classy costume, so I just went as Osgood from Doctor Who. When I got there there was a huge crowd, but people quickly grew bored and started leaving. There ended up being six people left (myself included). We stayed because we could see the upset faces of everyone who had planned the event, but actually had one of the most fun nights of my life. We- myself, the girl from across the hall, Trench Coat Boy, his tiny friend who never spoke, and a boy and girl I didn’t know who seemed to be professional dancers- danced nonstop for almost three hours. The strobe lights and poppy music solidified an unspoken bond. I had never and to this day haven’t felt as free as I did that night. The tiny quiet boy’s smile could have lit up a city. It’s etched into my mind. We all left the dance talking about the surreal feeling in the air, as if something had shifted. None of us ever mentioned the dance again. It’s still one of my fondest memories.

- For a solid month, there was someone in a gorilla costume running around campus.

- There was a rash of sexual assaults on campus. A gang of boys kept jumping girls in the woods. The only thing the school board did was give out free rape whistles at lunch one day. I missed that day, making me one of the only students on campus without a whistle. Later that night when I ordered pizza, the delivery guy tried to start up a conversation with me about all the assaults. He blamed the girls. I took back my tip.

- Sometimes the showers just…filled up with black sludge. No one knew why.

- The girls in the room next to me were very bizarre. They always shot me odd looks and whispered to each other constantly. I couldn’t figure out if they were sleeping together or not. They never washed their hands when we were in the bathroom.

- The doors to each dorm were thick and heavy and required effort to push them open. My roommate and I made sure to lock ours every night, and would triple check it. It swung open by itself almost every night. The channels on the tv would change with the remote equidistance away from us. Sometimes I heard humming in the showers when I was the only one in there.

- My roommate…deserves a whole separate post dedicated to her, honestly.

- She would call her mother and have her do her homework for her. She blasted music constantly, and it was either country or hard rap, nothing in between. She sexiled me constantly. I once walked in on anal. She’d meet guys on Tinder, fall in love with them after a couple of days, and then bring them into the school and into our room like it was no big deal. One of them made it clear he was a budding serial killer. She was in a new drama every week. One time someone called her a dilf on Yik Yak. She was firmly convinced her cousin was blonde because her aunt dyed her hair when she was pregnant. She tried her hardest to get me laid by a football player. She was the loudest drunk I’ve ever encountered. Honestly there’s just too much about her for this omfg

- John Zaffis, the famous paranormal researcher, came to the school on my birthday. I went because I’m a loser who’s been watching shows with him since I was a kid, and I was having a bad day so I decided it could be a treat. I sat in the front row. He held an uncomfortable amount of eye contact with me the entire presentation. He was impressed with my questions. He lamented about the fact he’s always cut out of movies or replaced by priests that look like him. He apparently came to the school every year around Halloween to do a ghost tour around the campus for the students. A girl allegedly killed herself in my floor’s bathroom. He apparently always got a lot of activity around the campus. Everyone in the freshman class started wondering if the rumors about the Native American burial ground were true.

- One time in “writing” class the teacher gave us a number and then whatever song came up as that when we put our music on shuffle we had to play for the class. I ended up with “Touch Me” from Spring Awakening. Midway through the song, the teacher from another class came to complain that they could hear everything. My teacher tried to defend that all music has an important message. “Molly, dear, tell her the message in this song!” I looked around the room and at the other teacher. “It’s about sex,” I said quietly. She stormed out of the room while the class started laughing.

- There was this girl that just had the natural ability to make anything boring. I feel bad saying that, because she’s such a sweet girl, and she’s smart, and she’s gorgeous, and she’s talented, but just…every time she says anything, it’s boring. I’m still friends with her on facebook, the talent transcends to writing as well. You could be having a fun, lively conversation and she could say something completely relevant to the point and yet it would still just be boring. It’s a baffling talent, I still don’t understand how she does it.

- There was a boy who’d come into my room. He lusted over my s’mores poptarts. He kept trying to hit the high notes in Broadway songs. He didn’t understand my sense of humor at all, so we both were constantly worried we were offending each other. He cried about Selena Gomez a lot.

- The dining hall only offered horrendous food. I had pasta almost every night because it was the only thing remotely edible. If you wanted good food, you had to go to Late Night, which was between like 10:30 and 1 I think??? They set it up specifically for stoners and people leaving parties. I was frequently the only sober person there. Except for the moths.

- The chief at the pasta place found out I like theater and got like…weirdly passionate about it. He kept telling me about different theater groups in the area and wanted to know if I was in the school musical. He asked me every time I went up for food.

- There was a disproportionate amount of large black birds to trees. It wasn’t hard to figure out why we so rarely saw smaller animals

- When I told my advisor I was thinking about leaving (mostly for financial reasons but also the fake classes were preventing me from getting an education I wanted, you know?), this little old man looked around his office as if checking for people listening in, then put his hand on top of mine, leaned in close, and whispered “Oh, you sweet little girl. Run as fast as you can.”

There’s definitely more but listen. This school was weird and fake and vaguely surreal and off-kilter. I am fully afraid that one day, years from now, I’m going to be driving through the back roads and pass the place where the campus should be, only I won’t find anything there at all, and won’t be able to find any trace of it ever existing. I won’t be able to find any record of it. I won’t be able to find a record of any of the people. Every time I think about this place I just get a weird feeling, like I somehow managed to escape the Twilight Zone but left a part of me behind in the process. Be careful when applying to college, kids.

houses going through rebellious high school phases

gryffindo

  • fights anyone
  • always wearing merch (tshirts, beanies, wristbands)
  • interrupts the teacher with dick jokes
  • skips class to take a train or bus anywhere
  • redyes hair every second week, bright af colors
  • multiple lip/ eyebrow piercings
  • constantly making kms jokes
  • still listens to my chemical romance and will mug anyone who judges them
  • splashes water over toilet cubicle walls and giggles
  • “did you do your homework?”
    “what homework?”

  • asks sad people if they’re okay
  • makes everyone do shots at parties but takes ten years to drink their own
  • PARTIES.
  • tries to drag their wallflower ravenclaw friend everywhere
  • cruisers and beer
  • aggressive facebook posts
  • panic at the disco.

hufflypuff

  • septum piercing
  • chokers
  • flannels and chunky boots
  • “wtf is math”
  • “why do we even need to know this shit”
  • glares really hard at slow readers
  • skips class to smoke weed behind the school
  • or sleeps with their face attached to the desk
  • colorful artwork hidden in their artbook
  • schoolbooks are full of worksheets they’ll never finish 
  • liked halsey, martinez and matd before they were cool
  • unironically listens to vaporwave
  • memelords and queens
  • emotionally plays piano when no ones around to hear them fuck up bc embarassing but
  • will totally play for their punkass slytherin friend
  • drinks with friends over going to parties anyday
  • clings to a bottle of vodka when they do go to parties
  • doodles all over their exam papers and likes drawing on the whiteboard
  • twenty one pilots.

ravencloogle

  • dark lipstick
  • lowkey fashionistas but will also show up in trackpants and tshirts with half-did hair
  • always correcting the teacher or finding ways to humiliate them
  • cheats on tests bc they spent their prep time writing/ reading gay porn
  • starts shit with everyone to polish their insulting skills
  • legitimately terrified of family gatherings
  • black nail polish
  • has loud gryff friend that they tolerate bc they’re cute
  • listens to music when they breathe
  • their bones are made of musical talent, true fact
  • reckless driver but still obeys all the laws
  • took some form of martial arts as a kid so is able whoop ass when ass whooping is needed
  • super smart in elementary, is now riddled with the anxiety to succeed
  • possibly skipped a grade and has to deal with their friends making fun of them for being younger
  • makes out in stairwells
  • cries in them too
  • do not approach when mad, aggresive rambling with lots of long words
  • nirvana.

snyzzerin

  • pastel/white hair
  • flower crowns (not real flowers tho)
  • skips school to go shopping
  • heLLA CONTOURING SKILLS
  • professional at cheating on tests
  • spits on people
  • “it’s not a phase mom”
  • drinks alcohol straight. like people are scared of them bc where the fuck did all the whiskey go
  • smokes
  • has already been suspended, to juvy and to a mental hospital once or twice
  • lone wolf but
  • has a pure af hufflepuff friend that gives them bandaids if they get into a fight
  • video games
  • standing up for people who can’t defend themselves
  • always in the principals office
  • likes to steal earphones and candy
  • “well fuck you” “because fuck you” and “fuck you”
  • the one behind all the really rude nicknames (that everyone uses) for teachers
  • shit talks a lot but feels bad about it inside
  • movie soundtracks
Everything You Need to Know About Writing Successfully - in Ten Minutes

by Stephen King
(reprinted in Sylvia K. Burack, ed. The Writer’s Handbook. Boston, MA: Writer, Inc., 1988: 3-9)

I. The First Introduction

THAT’S RIGHT. I know it sounds like an ad for some sleazy writers’ school, but I really am going to tell you everything you need to pursue a successful and financially rewarding career writing fiction, and I really am going to do it in ten minutes, which is exactly how long it took me to learn.  It will actually take you twenty minutes or so to read this essay, however, because I have to tell you a story, and then I have to write a second introduction.  But these, I argue, should not count in the ten minutes.



II. The Story, or, How Stephen King Learned to Write

When I was a sophomore in high school, I did a sophomoric thing which got me in a pot of fairly hot water, as sophomoric didoes often do.  I wrote and published a small satiric newspaper called The Village Vomit.  In this little paper I lampooned a number of teachers at Lisbon (Maine) High School, where I was under instruction.  These were not very gentle lampoons; they ranged from the scatological to the downright cruel

Eventually, a copy of this little newspaper found its way into the hands of a faculty member, and since I had been unwise enough to put my name on it (a fault, some critics argue, of which I have still not been entirely cured), I was brought into the office. The sophisticated satirist had by that time reverted to what he really was: a fourteen-year-old kid who was shaking in his boots and wondering if he was going to get a suspension … what we called “a three-day vacation” in those dim days of 1964.

I wasn’t suspended. I was forced to make a number of apologies - they were warranted, but they still tasted like dog-dirt in my mouth - and spent a week in detention hall. And the guidance counselor arranged what he no doubt thought of as a more constructive channel for my talents. This was a job - contingent upon the editor’s approval - writing sports for the Lisbon Enterprise, a twelve-page weekly of the sort with which any small-town resident will be familiar. This editor was the man who taught me everything I know about writing in ten minutes. His name was John Gould - not the famed New England humorist or the novelist who wrote The Greenleaf Fires, but a relative of both, I believe.

He told me he needed a sports writer and we could “try each other out” if I wanted.

I told him I knew more about advanced algebra than I did sports.

Gould nodded and said, “You’ll learn.”

I said I would at least try to learn. Gould gave me a huge roll of yellow paper and promised me a wage of 1/2¢ per word. The first two pieces I wrote had to do with a high school basketball game in which a member of my school team broke the Lisbon High scoring record. One of these pieces was straight reportage. The second was a feature article.

I brought them to Gould the day after the game, so he’d have them for the paper, which came out Fridays. He read the straight piece, made two minor corrections, and spiked it. Then he started in on the feature piece with a large black pen and taught me all I ever needed to know about my craft. I wish I still had the piece - it deserves to be framed, editorial corrections and all - but I can remember pretty well how it looked when he had finished with it. Here’s an example:

(note: this is before the edit marks indicated on King’s original copy)

Last night, in the well-loved gymnasium of Lisbon High School, partisans and Jay Hills fans alike were stunned by an athletic performance unequaled in school history: Bob Ransom, known as “Bullet” Bob for both his size and accuracy, scored thirty-seven points. He did it with grace and speed … and he did it with an odd courtesy as well, committing only two personal fouls in his knight-like quest for a record which has eluded Lisbon thinclads since 1953….

(after edit marks)

Last night, in the Lisbon High School gymnasium, partisans and Jay Hills fans alike were stunned by an athletic performance unequaled in school history: Bob Ransom scored thirty-seven points. He did it with grace and speed … and he did it with an odd courtesy as well, committing only two personal fouls in his quest for a record which has eluded Lisbon’s basketball team since 1953….

When Gould finished marking up my copy in the manner I have indicated above, he looked up and must have seen something on my face. I think he must have thought it was horror, but it was not: it was revelation.

“I only took out the bad parts, you know,” he said. “Most of it’s pretty good.”

“I know,” I said, meaning both things: yes, most of it was good, and yes, he had only taken out the bad parts. “I won’t do it again.”

“If that’s true,” he said, “you’ll never have to work again. You can do this for a living.” Then he threw back his head and laughed.

And he was right; I am doing this for a living, and as long as I can keep on, I don’t expect ever to have to work again.



III. The Second Introduction

All of what follows has been said before. If you are interested enough in writing to be a purchaser of this magazine, you will have either heard or read all (or almost all) of it before. Thousands of writing courses are taught across the United States each year; seminars are convened; guest lecturers talk, then answer questions, then drink as many gin and tonics as their expense-fees will allow, and it all boils down to what follows.

I am going to tell you these things again because often people will only listen - really listen - to someone who makes a lot of money doing the thing he’s talking about. This is sad but true. And I told you the story above not to make myself sound like a character out of a Horatio Alger novel but to make a point: I saw, I listened, and I learned. Until that day in John Gould’s little office, I had been writing first drafts of stories which might run 2,500 words. The second drafts were apt to run 3,300 words. Following that day, my 2,500-word first drafts became 2,200-word second drafts. And two years after that, I sold the first one.

So here it is, with all the bark stripped off. It’ll take ten minutes to read, and you can apply it right away…if you listen.



IV. Everything You Need to Know About Writing Successfully

1.  BE TALENTED
This, of course, is the killer.  What is talent?  I can hear someone shouting, and here we are, ready to get into a discussion right up there with “what is the meaning of life?” for weighty pronouncements and total uselessness.  For the purposes of the beginning writer, talent may as well be defined as eventual success - publication and money.  If you wrote something for which someone sent you a check, if you cashed the check and it didn’t bounce, and if you then paid the light bill with the money, I consider you talented.

Now some of you are really hollering.  Some of you are calling me one crass money-fixated creep.  And some of you are calling me bad names.  Are you calling Harold Robbins talented?  someone in one of the Great English Departments of America is screeching.  V.C. Andrews?  Theodore Dreiser?  Or what about you, you dyslexic moron?

Nonsense.  Worse than nonsense, off the subject.  We’re not talking about good or bad here.  I’m interested in telling you how to get your stuff published, not in critical judgments of who’s good or bad.  As a rule the critical judgments come after the check’s been spent, anyway.  I have my own opinions, but most times I keep them to myself.  People who are published steadily and are paid for what they are writing may be either saints or trollops, but they are clearly reaching a great many someones who want what they have.  Ergo, they are communicating.  Ergo, they are talented.  The biggest part of writing successfully is being talented, and in the context of marketing, the only bad writer is one who doesn’t get paid.  If you’re not talented, you won’t succeed.  And if you’re not succeeding, you should know when to quit.

When is that?  I don’t know.  It’s different for each writer.  Not after six rejection slips, certainly, nor after sixty.  But after six hundred?  Maybe.  After six thousand?  My friend, after six thousand pinks, it’s time you tried painting or computer programming.

Further, almost every aspiring writer knows when he is getting warmer - you start getting little jotted notes on your rejection slips, or personal letters…maybe a commiserating phone call.  It’s lonely out there in the cold, but there are encouraging voices…unless there is nothing in your words which warrants encouragement.  I think you owe it to yourself to skip as much of the self-illusion as possible.  If your eyes are open, you’ll know which way to go…or when to turn back.

2.  BE NEAT
Type.  Double-space.  Use a nice heavy white paper, never that erasable onion-skin stuff.  If you’ve marked up your manuscript a lot, do another draft.

3.  BE SELF-CRITICAL
If you haven’t marked up your manuscript a lot, you did a lazy job.  Only God gets things right the first time.  Don’t be a slob.

4.  REMOVE EVERY EXTRANEOUS WORD
You want to get up on a soapbox and preach?  Fine.  Get one and try your local park.  You want to write for money?  Get to the point.  And if you remove all the excess garbage and discover you can’t find the point, tear up what you wrote and start all over again…or try something new.

5.  NEVER LOOK AT A REFERENCE BOOK WHILE DOING A FIRST DRAFT You want to write a story?  Fine.  Put away your dictionary, your encyclopedias, your World Almanac, and your thesaurus.  Better yet, throw your thesaurus into the wastebasket.  The only things creepier than a thesaurus are those little paperbacks college students too lazy to read the assigned novels buy around exam time.  Any word you have to hunt for in a thesaurus is the wrong word.  There are no exceptions to this rule.  You think you might have misspelled a word?  O.K., so here is your choice: either look it up in the dictionary, thereby making sure you have it right - and breaking your train of thought and the writer’s trance in the bargain - or just spell it phonetically and correct it later.  Why not?  Did you think it was going to go somewhere?  And if you need to know the largest city in Brazil and you find you don’t have it in your head, why not write in Miami, or Cleveland?  You can check it…but laterWhen you sit down to write, write.  Don’t do anything else except go to the bathroom, and only do that if it absolutely cannot be put off.

6.  KNOW THE MARKETS
Only a dimwit would send a story about giant vampire bats surrounding a high school to McCall’s.  Only a dimwit would send a tender story about a mother and daughter making up their differences on Christmas Eve to Playboy…but people do it all the time.  I’m not exaggerating; I have seen such stories in the slush piles of the actual magazines.  If you write a good story, why send it out in an ignorant fashion?  Would you send your kid out in a snowstorm dressed in Bermuda shorts and a tank top?  If you like science fiction, read the magazines.  If you want to write confession stories, read the magazines.  And so on.  It isn’t just a matter of knowing what’s right for the present story; you can begin to catch on, after awhile, to overall rhythms, editorial likes and dislikes, a magazine’s entire slant.  Sometimes your reading can influence the next story, and create a sale.

7.  WRITE TO ENTERTAIN
Does this mean you can’t write “serious fiction”?  It does not.  Somewhere along the line pernicious critics have invested the American reading and writing public with the idea that entertaining fiction and serious ideas do not overlap.  This would have surprised Charles Dickens, not to mention Jane Austen, John Steinbeck, William Faulkner, Bernard Malamud, and hundreds of others.  But your serious ideas must always serve your story, not the other way around.  I repeat: if you want to preach, get a soapbox.

8.  ASK YOURSELF FREQUENTLY, AM I HAVING FUN?”
The answer needn’t always be yes.  But if it’s always no, it’s time for a new project or a new career.

9.  HOW TO EVALUATE CRITICISM
Show your piece to a number of people - ten, let us say.  Listen carefully to what they tell you.  Smile and nod a lot.  Then review what was said very carefully.  If your critics are all telling you the same thing about some facet of your story - a plot twist that doesn’t work, a character who rings false, stilted narrative, or half a dozen other possibles - change that facet.  It doesn’t matter if you really liked that twist of that character; if a lot of people are telling you something is wrong with you piece, it is.  If seven or eight of them are hitting on that same thing, I’d still suggest changing it.  But if everyone - or even most everyone - is criticizing something different, you can safely disregard what all of them say.

10.  OBSERVE ALL RULES FOR PROPER SUBMISSION
Return postage, self-addressed envelope, all of that.

11.  AN AGENT?  FORGET IT.  FOR NOW
Agents get 10% of monies earned by their clients.  10% of nothing is nothing.  Agents also have to pay the rent.  Beginning writers do not contribute to that or any other necessity of life.  Flog your stories around yourself.  If you’ve done a novel, send around query letters to publishers, one by one, and follow up with sample chapters and/or the manuscript complete.  And remember Stephen King’s First Rule of Writers and Agents, learned by bitter personal experience: You don’t need one until you’re making enough for someone to steal…and if you’re making that much, you’ll be able to take your pick of good agents.

12.  IF IT’S BAD, KILL IT
When it comes to people, mercy killing is against the law.  When it comes to fiction, it is the law.



That’s everything you need to know.  And if you listened, you can write everything and anything you want.  Now I believe I will wish you a pleasant day and sign off.

My ten minutes are up.

3

Urban Spell Components

So, as an urban witch, I have a thing for weird spell components. Probably people have done this before, but i’m going to go ahead and throw mine out there. I’m going to try and do several of these.

First things simple, any small object can be enchanted to do anything you want it to. I have been known to grab small objects and just drop an enchantment on them cause i need a magical object right then and it’s what I have at hand. So don’t be afraid to grab anything you want and drop a blessing, curse, glamor, or basically any kind of spell you want on it.

Hell, my most popular post ever on this hellsite out of four blogs is a jinx using pennies. Make of that as you will.

Onwards.

Soda Tabs:

I mean, come on. It’s a tiny piece of metal. All the potential.

But more importantly, it’s a symbol. On the one hand, it represents a seal and on the other it represents a key.

Want to not just lock something up, but make it airtight, completely and utterly closed? Stick a tab in your spell.

Need a charm to open doors to you, to open people to you, to make friends more easily? Soda tab pendant, or in a mojo bag.

Want to release pressure, vent power, or make a magical bomb? What do we know that pops pressurized containers? Soda tabs.

In the more abstract sense, they’re associated with effervescense. Need to be more bubbly, more sparkly, more light and sweet? Work a tab into your spell as a symbol of releasing that into the world.

Want a variation and like the idea of provenance? Get one from a beer can and use it to symbolically relax your inhibitions so you can be more open to people, cut loose easier, and so on.

Bottle Caps

All that shit I just said about tabs? Conceivably, you could use that shit with a bottle cap. But you could also do a number of other shit.

Now, some y'all may notice I used a screw cap rather than a metal cap. That’s reasons.

Bottle caps make great curse anchors, for one simple reason that can be summed up in two words: “screw you.” Eh? Eh? Who doesn’t like a good pun in their magic?

You can use them to close things, true, but you can also use them as a valve. Ever had to open a soda slowly to release the pressure a little at a time? Now imagine using that as a component. Where the tab is a sudden release, the cap can be metered. There’s a host of reason to use it in that capacity.

Need a charm to help control your third eye? Crank it up or close it down with a bottle cap.

Bottle energy by filling a soda bottle with a charged medium and set it to slow release with a cap only partially sealed.

Need a charm like the soda tab to be open and effervescent, but don’t want it always on? Bottle cap.

And, of course, there’s the lovely little spikes on the damn things. Ever step on one? Yeouch.

Press into your palm if you’re doing an evil eye and want to transmit pain. Add to wards as a deterrent. Work it into curses as a literal stumbling point.

Want to take your sympathetic sacrifice to the next level? Stick one in your shoe for a day and use it to charge up an inconvenience or pain curse, or flip the script and use the pain as a sacrifice to pull down good luck, good fortune, or blessings by trading bad now for good later.

(This, as a sidenote, will work with anything uncomfortable in your shoe.)

Ballpoint Pens

Ok, so at the basic, you can write spells and draw sigils with them. Let’s get that out the way to start.

Moving right along, one of the other basic uses is as a stand in for a wand. The pen makes indelible marks, so it can be added into the casting to make a spell more durable.

But the real fun begins when you consider: it can be taken apart.

Want to banish something? Consider how fricken easy it is to lose a pen. Get a piece of paper and write what or who you want gone. Make it small, because the next thing you’re going to do is open the pen up and wrap that paper around the ink tube. Stick the whole thing back together. Let nature take its course, and when the pen is gone, so’s the issue.

(While I won’t tell you not to use this to banish things that can become someone else’s problem, this is best for things and people that you just want out of your life, not problems you want to pass along.)

And that ability to make scrolls has a thousand and one uses!

Make a lucky pen. Make a money pen, so every time you write a check or balance your books, you call money back to you.

Make a wand more potent. Make cheap and effective curse artillery. Curse that shit and set it loose, if you’re into that sort of thing.

Make a homing missile by writing a targeted spell in it and setting it loose to seek an approproiate target.

Make a whole bunch of lucky pens and cut them loose to bless everyone.

Make a pen to help you with your handwriting, spellcraft, and what not.

And that’s not even getting into blessing a pen so the ink can be used to draw temporary tattoos on your skin that have extra potency, or sigils that are primed for charging, or for magical vandalism. (Vandalize at your own risk.)

Go Wild!

So that’s it for this one. I'mm try and sit down and explain more of this shit that i do in the hopes that you fuckers get some use out of it.

Go forth and be magical!

Divination Tips for Beginners

Divination can be hard and draining, it takes up a lot of energy. For those who are still new to it, it can really drain you and result in headaches and frustrations. Here are some tips to help all you beginners out with divination and how draining it can be.

  • Drink plenty of water, being dehydrated is not fun and especially not when you are using so much energy
  • Take a shower or bath before any divination work to help cleanse yourself 
  • Meditate before big divination work to help center and ground yourself
  • Crystals good for divination and psychic work: nuummite, amethyst, amazonite, fluorite, and aqua aura quartz
  • Clear Quartz is a good energy booster and can help you feel less drained after divination
  • Drink some black tea to help ground yourself and give yourself extra energy for divination work
  • If you are starting to feel tired during divination, that is okay, take a break or take a nap. Forcing yourself to keep going will only exhaust you further and make everything more difficult. You deserve breaks
  • It is okay to use notes during divination, don’t worry what others say. Its not ‘unprofessional’, even veterans in divination use notes. Keep a notebook with you full of different meanings of cards or stones or runes, take notes as you go, write down your thoughts and keep it near you every time you practice.
  • Yellow is the color of divination, keep yellow things around you to help. Yellow blanket(s), yellow pillows, yellow candles, yellow pieces of paper; anything you can find. Purple is also another color good to help with psychic abilities and awareness
  • Herbs good for divination and psychic work: cinnamon, lemon, cherry, lettuce, grapes, orange (orange peel), mint, pumpkin, celery, lemon balm, catnip, thyme, rose, seaweed, star anise, mullein, mugwort and rosemary can all help you. Bake with them, eat them, use them in teas or keep them near you in a sachet or jar
  • Stretch and take little walks. Sitting for a long time can be killer and make you sore. Stretch your legs and take little five or ten minute walks during long readings and psychic work. Muscle and joint stiffness is never fun
  • Rather than trying to tackle large readings every day, do small ones. Like a few questions to your pendulum, pull a single card, draw a crystal from a bag, etc. Small daily practices can help you in the long run without exhausting you. 
  • Open a window and let some fresh air in while you work, it will do wonders, especially since air is the element associated with divination work.
  • Keep a small bowl or cup of salt near you, it will absorb the negative energy about you especially if you are feeling frustrated
  • Moon water is great for divination: drink it, make tea with it, spray the room with it, anoint yourself with it, keep it near you, etc
  • Cleanse your space before divination work, again it will keep negativity away from you 
  • Cleanse and charge your divination tools regularly, it really helps in the long run. Put them in the moonlight at night (especially during full moons), keep salt near them, smoke cleanse them if you can, burn white candles, use crystals/gems, etc
  • Its okay if you get confused and don’t know how to interpret something. Take notes on it and with time it may become more clear to you. Don’t force yourself to try to understand
  • Mistakes happen, you won’t always be 100% right on things. No one is, divination is not a certain thing. Things change all the time, its okay. Don’t let it get you down.
  • If you are tired, sick, stressed, or anything else and don’t feel like doing divination work that is fine. Its okay, you don’t have to do it all the time. Especially not if you are feeling unwell and tired. Rest and take care of yourself, you can continue practice another time
  • If you use tools in your work like mirrors, tea cups/mugs, cards, crystals, etc try to bond with them. Creating a bond with your tools can improve your divination quite a bit
  • You don’t have to practice on other people, you can do it for yourself and your own questions. Its an old wive’s tale that you can’t use tarot or divination on yourself, you definitely can
  • Try to get a good nights sleep before and after divination
  • Once you finish, treat yourself. Get something to eat, watch a movie or show you like, curl up with a book, snuggle into a blanket, play with your pets, take a nap; do whatever makes you happy. You did a good job and deserve some time to rest and recharge afterwards
how to get a paper extension
  • break into your teacher’s house and change all the clocks to 24 hrs earlier. They’ll think it’s the day before.
  • edit the syllabus and put a question mark after the due date, (ex: 11/12/17?) the teacher will be confused and time will be meaningless
  • agree with the whole class to turn it in late while yelling ‘means of production to the people!!’ overthrow traditional forms of authority so you don’t have to turn your paper in
  • cry, no, cry harder, harder. Do it publically and then pay a witch to write it for you with that jar of tears
  • slam that mountain dew + coffee + five-hour energy + cocaine milkshake mix, go to the hospital, they always give you an extension if you’re in the hospital

are you familiar with the feeling of oh-my-holy-moly-my-life-is-a-complete-mess? me too fam. but now, it’s time for change. It’s time to get our shit together and here are some tips to get started.

note : this is just a beginning guide; which only includes 1/100 of the tips to get you life together. I’ll probably make a part two if this is helpful?


1. do not procrastinate.

sounds crazy? but honestly, just don’t. procrastination leads to stress and anxiety and helps you lose your shit.

but, how do we not procrastinate?

  • ‌get things done early. remember that sheet of paper your professor gave around in class having the list of all the assignments to be done that semester? yes, do that work months before if you have time.
  • do your homework the day it’s given. (no watching tv before you do)
  • ‌study in the time you’re actually studying. don’t go on your phone half the time. If you’re doing that, you may as well put your books away.

‌other resources -

2. become the master of  “fake productivity”

fake productivity is basically when you do mechanical work (i.e. stuff which doesn’t require much brainpower) to get into the real “productivity” zone. it helps you brain prepare for the big task ahead. here are some things to do -

  • make your bed
  • do the dishes/laundry
  • clean your room (i know it’s messy yo)
  • get your closet together
  • empty your inbox (be it gmail or tumblr)
  • do a smol workout?
  • make a to-do list/ organize you calendar
  • do a easiest or the most enjoyable task off your to-do list

3. plan, plan and plan

your planner/bullet journal should be your best friend. plan those essays you got to write, that research paper you have to do, down to the time you need to go out for dinner with friends. Plan. Every. Single. Thing. I. Really. Mean. It.

+ and follow up with those plans!! you have already wasted a lot of time on planning, you hAVE to follow up with that planning, right?

4. wake up early

why?  waking up early gives you the time to do things slowly and carefully so that you get it perfect in one go and your life isn’t a complete disastrous mess.

how to wake up early? i got you.

5. have a healthy lifestyle

an example -

x wakes up at 7 am every morning, goes for a short run to wake herself up and comes back to have hearty breakfast of eggs, bacon, slices of bread and a mug of steaming hot tea. she starts on her work after that, doing it without stressing about it. Then, after a nice hot bath and a delicious lunch, she goes out to a cafe to work on her online classes and to hang out with her friends. coming back home, she does a quick workout, takes a shower and heads off to make dinner. Having an early dinner, she spends the remaining few hours relaxing, drafting blog posts and spending time with her dog. at 10 pm everyday, she heads off to her bed, looking forward to a glorious tomorrow.

..sounds like a fairy-tale, right? you can definitely live it though.

In general, your day should have the following stuff  -

  • ‌sufficient hours of work using which you can get all your work done
  • ‌a healthy breakfast, lunch and dinner (yep, no skipping meals)
  • ‌a workout, generally of 15 - 30 minutes at the least
  • ‌interaction with people, like hanging out with friends or family
  • ‌sufficient sleep and resting time (preferably 8 hours of sleep)
  • ‌a fixed routine consisting of you waking and sleeping at fixed time
  • ‌a ‘me’ time at some point of the day where you don’t worry about work or anything and focus on relaxing after a long day.

6. believing that coffee sucks

why? its basically a drug and if you need three cups of it just to get started on work, you’re going to have a really hard time during finals.

Instead, get enough sleep so that you have enough energy to study without being a coffee addict. or you can even swap coffee for water. (hey, you’ll be more hydrated!)
side note - a cup of coffee per day is okay though. I love coffee too and I totally feel you but don’t overdose on it, okay love?

some extra things to know about -

  • ‌have a companion to keep you accountable at the start.
  • ‌do have a laid-back day once in a while, you’re human after all.
  • balance work and play. reward yourself for shit done.
  • keep track of your spending, earnings, investments, etc.
  • stop being a perfectionist. seriously, you dont need to rewrite all those notes, trust me (comes from a was-a-perfectionist-kind-of-still-am-but-trying-not-to-be perfectionist)
  • ‌don’t stress yourself out. getting your shit together is a journey and not a result.
  • remember, change will come. yes, it will; but only if you take action. start now.

also, on a side note - and this might seem very ironic, but sometimes you don’t have to have your shit together. life is always a mess and trust me when I say this, no one - yes no one - has their shit together and sometimes it’s worth it to lead a messy life and enjoy it without having any fixed rules and regulations like you would have if you wanted that perfect life. enjoy the life you lead and stay wonderful, loves!


- ̗̀   the adulting 101 series   ̖́-        

part one : kicking a rut

go check out my other masterposts here and you can always send in a request for a masterpost as my ask box is always open!!

much love, Taylor  (´。• ᵕ •。`) ♡

Hey everyone! Over the years I’ve had my fair share of English and other writing intensive classes, and combined with my tendency to procrastinate I’ve had to come up with a way to write papers fast. 

step one: finding a topic and research (aka the hardest part)

You can’t write a paper without a good topic, a strong thesis, and solid research. There’s no getting around that, no matter how short you are on time. Depending on the class and the teacher, you may have your topic chosen for you or you may have total freedom. If your situation is the latter, an ideal topic is one the you care about, have some general knowledge of already, and is specific enough to be covered in the number of pages you’re limited to. After you have a topic picked, do some quick searches to see what’s out there. If your school’s library has a database, that’s the perfect place to start. Be sure to chose quality articles that have been peer reviewed when possible, and where it’s not acknowledge that the source may be an biased in your paper. 

Once you’ve started research, you should have a pretty good idea of what your angle is going to be and what points you want to make. Next write a working thesis. This is basically a sentence or two that states what you will spend the next few pages proving. Once you have it, write it on an index card and put it aside for the next step.

step two: outlining 

Take a look at your past papers. How many paragraphs are usually on a page? It’s about two for me, so I keep that in mind when planning my outline. Now for the part that lets me write so fast: index cards. 

Take one index card per paragraph you’ll need to fill your page limit, and write “into” on the back of the one with your thesis, and conclusion on the other. Now think about how to best prove your thesis, and anything else you saw in research that you want to address. 

  • On one side of the card goes the general topic of the paragraph (ie, “significance of symbolism”).
  • On the back goes all of the specific notes and details that will go in that paragraph (ie, “spring as a symbol of a fresh start for x character”)
  • Once you’ve done that for every paragraph lay them out in front of you and experiment with order. How do they flow naturally?

step three: writing

Now that you have your outline, all you have to do is expand on what’s on your cards. Paragraphs should be at least five sentences each, which is super easy to achieve since you already know what you’re going to say! Think of each paragraph as a mini paper: sentence one should be a topic sentence/intro, explaining what you’re going to cover. The middle/body defends and expands on your topic sentence, and the last sentence or two should conclude the paragraph and transition to the next. 

Once you have your body, you can work on your intro and conclusion. A general rule of thumb for intros is to start with a hook (something interesting that draws the reader in) and ends with your thesis. In the middle should be a sentence or so for each paragraph/point, just to give a little map of where you’re going. The conclusion is basically the same, except in reverse. Wrap it up and tell them what you just told them. 

After that, let it sit for a little while (ideally a day, but if you’re short on time just go to dinner) and then come back to edit with fresh eyes. Reading out loud will help you catch typos!

step four: citations and formatting

I like to cite as I go so I don’t have to do it all at once. I typically write my own, but if I’m in a pinch I’ll use a citation generator (like son of citation) that works super fast. Just be sure to cite everything that needs one! Plagiarism is so not cool. Double check MLA/APA/Chicago guidelines and make sure that everything is formatted right, and you’re good to hit submit!

Good luck on those papers, my fellow procrastinators!

one more time (m)

genre: fuckboy au + smut

words: 5.5k

member: jimin 

you can’t resist jimin, even if he is a fuckboy.

Originally posted by 9taefox


You woke up to the sound of your ringtone blaring into your ear. You huffed, screwing your eyes shut and hoping it would stop; it didn’t. Reaching out, you grabbed your phone and squinted at the bright screen, your eyes needing time to adjust.

Jimin.

You sighed through your nostrils, closing your eyes and ignoring the impending headache that you could already feel starting in your temples. You debated not answering, and the call ended. You nearly let a smile form on your lips, but your phone began to vibrate in your hand again, Jimin’s name popping up once again as the sound of your ringtone kept you from sleeping.

Keep reading

“Why do you write sad things?” is one of the hardest questions I’ve always been asked.

How could I answer that? How could I tell you that all I have is sadness, and all I can share to the world is sadness? How could I tell you that every time I get a little glimpse of happiness, I always just save it for myself, keeping it close to my heart, memorizing every details and feelings, and not writing it down because writing it down feels a lot like giving it away, like I am letting that little happiness go. How could I tell you that I write sad things to purge it out from my system? That it is impossible to write sad things without sadness consuming you to the core to the point that all you can do is to bleed it out on the paper. How could I tell you that? That I write sad things to let it out, hoping that one day it would never come back, that maybe one day, I will finally succeed in writing all my sadness away.
—  cynthia go // Why do you write sad things?

250617 ; what i bring when i go out to study 

1. chargers (for all my electronic devices) 
this is so important for me, especially if i’m going to be studying for eight hours straight. i hate the frustration i feel when my devices (laptop!!!!) run out of battery because this totally throws me off my plans for the day, plus it’s always better to be safe than sorry!!

2. headphones / earphones 
these are absolutely essential while studying at a cafe (like starbucks, which i frequent). you never know, there could be screaming babies or loud conversations which none of us want to be listening to (it screws up your concentration) so listening to music helps 

3. oversized sweater of some sort
i love love love the feeling of warmth in a really cold place, and most places i go to study are cold anyway (starbucks, the library). you don’t want to be shivering while studying, you’d more likely be thinking of ways to get warmer instead of actually study, plus oversized sweaters are more comfy, so yes.

4. water bottle
this is pretty self-explanatory, i mean keeping hydrated detoxifies your body and keeps you healthy!!!!! h20 is important friends!!!!!! also bring some healthy snacks like berries or granola (my favourite study snacks) if you’re going to be studying for a long time.

5. notebook
or some loose leaf paper, depending on what i want to write my notes on. 

6. pencil case
i usually take with me at least two black pens (in case i drop one or one runs out of ink or some other mishap), a mechanical pencil, an eraser, markers / highlighters in whatever colour scheme my notes are going to be, a ruler, a black brush pen (usually the pentel fude sign pen), correction tape and occasionally, brush markers (i rarely bring these though, since i don’t really incorporate them in my notes) + any other materials i might need (eg. calculator for math etc)

7. laptop (or textbook)
this depends on where the notes to make my notes come from (did this make sense?). usually i bring both, since my teachers send slides, and the textbook is the main resource i use. 

8. bullet journal
i pretty much bring my bullet journal everywhere, so studying outside is not an exception. it’s nice to strike off things on my to-do list when i’m studying, and it makes the whole process a lot more bearable, since doing that makes me feel productive, and being productive makes me feel motivated (also if i need a break i like to work on my spreads with whatever materials i have!!!).

these are the main things i bring when i go out to study, sometimes i bring more, and sometimes less, it depends on what i want to do, but what’s pictured above is the most common! 

This is the last time I write for or about you. This is the last time my pen will bleed thoughts of you onto paper. It’s been six months since the last time we spoke and since then nothing has been easy, every breath, every tear screams of you. My body aches at the thought of you and I cannot take it anymore. You were my brightest light; my shining star and you left me in the darkness that not even I can begin to comprehend. So it is time for me to let go, I have to let go of you, the memories, the laughs and tears we shared together. I am not saying I won’t think of you with every small thing that happens, every cute coffee shop I pass, but I am saying I am no longer going to let it hurt me. I love you, but this, this is my final goodbye.
Discipline 101

So you have the ambition. You have all the answers. All you lack is the discipline.

Unsurprisingly, this is a problem most people have, so don’t worry, you’re not alone.

Tell me, do you have a concrete goal? Or is it something vague like, “Rule the world”, or “get rich” or “become famous”?

Usually those who lack discipline have a habit of getting ahead of themselves and they end up having all these fantastic goals without any knowledge of how to achieve them. They have big ambitions, but no clear plans, no visible steps, and no foundation to start their life on. It’s the equivalent of standing on one side of the river and being able to see the other side, but having no method of making it across.

It’s good to have a starting point, and know what you want in the end. But the path to earning what you desire isn’t pre-made for you. It’s up to you to lay every brick and measure everything out. In your life, you’re the architect, you’re the engineer, you’re the investor, you’re everything.

So the how do you get some discipline?  It’s simple: You need to know how you’re going to do something, before you set out to do it.

Step 1: Get Motivated

Make a list. And make sure you handwrite it. Two columns. Think about everything you have a problem with, all your interests and passions, and everything you have ever wanted in one column. In the other column, spend as much time as you need to come up with solutions to each issue/goal. Don’t write one side, without the other.

Spend a couple days looking at that list. Make it into a poster, use it as your phone background, it doesn’t matter as long as you make sure you see it every day until you feel something. I’m saying that incredibly vaguely because people are fueled by different emotions. For me, it was rage.

Every morning, I stared at that list of everything I’d ever wanted, every little problem that made my life miserable and I got furious. To see what my life revolved around so callously written on paper, and feeling so close yet so far, that drove me insane. My anger made my passion double, and nothing fuels discipline more than passion.

Step 2: Plan

Once you’ve gotten yourself suitably motivated to take charge of your life, don’t waste any time. Start by creating a plan. Now that you know what you want to do, figure out how to do it.

Create a timeline for the next year and then a looser version for the next ten years. It can sound daunting, but when you fall off track at some point (and I can guarantee, you will) you’re going to need something to point you in the right direction.

For your detailed, one year plan, make sure your goals are distributed into two categories: Short term and Long term.  

For your short term goals, list everything you want to achieve in that year and how exactly you’re going to do it.

For example,  if you want to lose weight, I don’t just want to see you write down “lose weight”. Tell me how. Tell me how much. Tell me by when. “Lose five pounds by October by going to the gym 4 days a week”, or “Cut down on eating X food so I can lose 5 pounds by October”, etc. Be specific.

For your long term goals, pick 3 things you want in general. The first thing should be something you can achieve in that year, and it should be the focus of your entire year. The second thing is something you don’t necessarily need, but it makes you happy anyways (like spending more time on a hobby, or saving money for a new designer bag, etc.). The third thing should be something that stays fairly consistent in every single ‘year-plan’ you have. Ultimately, it’s either your most important desire, or very close to it.

These long term goals will help you put together your 10 year plan, and create a better sense of direction in your life.

Step 3: Prioritize

Learn to prioritize these tasks and goals. Don’t go to sleep until you’ve felt like you’ve completed all your tasks for the day. Don’t give in to distractions and the illusion of “well-deserved fun”. Sure, going clubbing may seem fun on  Saturday, but it won’t be fun on Sunday night when you’re frantically writing a paper that’s due in two hours. There’s always time for fun later, there’s always another concert and another football game and another party. But some things have a greater impact on your life than just one night of “fun”.

I’m not saying become some kind of a workaholic. There’s always a time and a place for everything. If you try to follow your plan without any distractions or any fun, you’re going to get bored and then you’re start to hate your plan and your life and then it gets messy. Avoid all that by knowing when you’ve earned a break. It’s very important to discern when you can afford to step away from work to have fun with your friends and when going out is just going to distract you from an important deadline. 

Step 4: Act

Now, don’t just write these goals down and shove them in a dusty file on your desk. Keep them within arms reach. Look at them frequently. What I like to do is every morning, I write down a short term goal I have for that week/day/month and one of my long-term goals in my planner. It’s just a little reminder and keeps me focused throughout the day. I don’t feel like my day is complete or productive until I’ve had some progress on either the long term or short term goal.

Also, keep in mind that while planning is a great thing to do, don’t expect yourself to stick to every single detail of the plan. Life happens, and there are certain things you cannot control (although it wouldn’t hurt to try). Don’t be too hard on yourself if you find yourself unable to complete one of your goals for the day/week/month. It happens to everyone, we’re all human. What you need to focus on is the big picture and move on. Don’t waste precious time wallowing in past mistakes. Time doesn’t wait for anyone, least of all for you.

Step 5: Commit

Discipline doesn’t come from just being motivated or having a plan. It comes from consistency. Form productive habits, start efficient routines, and stick to them. For example, if you want to become a writer, make sure you write something, however small it is, everyday. One sentence, one paragraph, one page, the amount doesn’t matter. It’s important to understand that something, however small, is better than nothing. This constant dedication to your work will help you move one step closer to your goals.

The more you force yourself to stay in line when faced with temptation, the easier it will be every other time you are faced with the same challenge further down the line. Everyone forms habits. Just make sure they’re the right ones and you’d be shocked at how much your life could change.

Everything you need to become disciplined is inside of you. Everyone has the willpower and motivation. It’s just some people know what to do with it.

Just remember: Get motivated. Plan. Prioritize. Act. Commit

And the world is yours.

some tips from your local depressed college student
  • cheap paper towels + hydrogen peroxide = acne treatment (just be careful not to bleach your eyebrows unless you’re into that idk)
  • use the acne face soap on your chest, upper back, and shoulders instead, since it doesn’t do shit for your face (or at least not mine)
  • no one is stopping you from bushing your teeth in the shower except yourself (just eliminating that extra step of going to the sink makes it so much easier for me)
  • did you know you’re actually supposed to put on stick deodorant at night??? It has time to absorb while u sleep or stare at the ceiling in dispair whichever works best for u
  • carrots and/or apples dipped in peanut butter = dinner (or just plain peanut butter but it helps to get a lil something extra if you can manage it)
  • if you give yourself an allowance of skip days (i’m talking like 3 or 4 max) then it can be easier to go to class if you remind yourself “i only have 2 skip days left, I’m gonna save them until I REALLY need them” (think of skip days like non-essential items in a video game - you could use them now, but what if you really need them during the final boss battle later on??)
  • the velveeta microwave dinners aren’t great but they’re cheap and better than some other options out there. the mac n cheese w/ meat ones can smell a bit like dog food but they still taste pretty good
  • if you like peppermint hot chocolate - save the after dinner mints you get at places like Chik Fil A and italian restaurants and such and then drop a couple in your mug before you put it in the microwave. boom. 
  • if you’ve got a sore throat, just take a spoonful of honey (or squirt it directly from the bottle to your mouth if you’re a heathen like me) and go find a hot drink
  • for essays - highlight/number/circle/whatever you want to do to make ‘em stand out the quotes you want to use in your paper, then go take a shower or get something to eat or just watch like a 15-20 minute video on YouTube and then come back to your paper, pop those fuckin’ quotes in the right order, and write in the smart bullshit around them
  • okay actually the one thing that I will spend a little extra money on is cough drops bc i get a sore throat all the damn time and the only kind i will buy anymore is Halls Breezers they taste like candy instead of koala shit my personal favorite is cool berry but the orange creme ones are good too honestly these cough drops have saved my life at least six times now
  • coffee is gr9 but don’t forget to have some water every day too dehydration is NOT FUN (speaking from very painful personal experience)

|4 september 2017|

it’s finally back to school time for most of us and, at least for me, it’s also time to start good habits, crack down on the bad ones, and just begin to prepare for the year ahead. i’ve been in school for a couple of weeks now and, so far, i’m doing pretty good. below, i’ve compiled some simple tips that help me in day to day life that i would love to share. so let’s get cracking:

  1. prepare outfits and pack your backpack on sunday instead of in the morning. i know for a fact you have more time on sunday to prepare your outfits and pack your backpack than on monday morning so planning in advance will most definitely benefit you. instead of running around in circles trying to find that shirt, hang them up in the front of your closet or place them in the top of a drawer on sunday. and instead of throwing random pens in a bag, pack your backpack and put it in front of your door. it’ll save you time to do other things such as eating and washing your face.
  2. prepare and eat a breakfast. whether it’s some cherrios in a bag on the way to class or eggs and bacon cooked that morning, eating will definitely benefit you. you’ll have more focus in class and it’ll get your metabolism going. if it’s easier for you, think about preparing your food the night before and packing it in bags or tupperware.
  3. have a tray by the door to put small things in. oh, how many times have i forgotten my earbuds or keys. keep yourself organized and not calling your roommate to get an extra set of keys by just having a tray on which you can put smaller things you don’t put in your backpack. then, just grab them before you leave and voilà! you aren’t locked out.
  4. on sunday, do your meal preps, weekly spread, and clean your room and workspace. i am such a procrastinator during the weekends and there have been so many days that because of that, i am trudging through knee high messes in my room because i just won’t pick up. i also commonly forget to plan the week and prep my meals and then boom, it’s monday and i’m a mess. so don’t be a mess like me, do it all on sunday.
  5. have a letter tray to put class handouts and old assessments so you can put them in binders later. using a letter tray to collect handouts and assessments can be so beneficial to keeping your desk clean. and without it, i tend to throw out old graded assessments i could study instead of putting them in binders. keeping all those papers in one binder is super helpful, so put them in a binder and finals won’t be your doom.
  6. have a bedtime routine. having a bedtime routine can increase your productivity and sleep time because, one, it can help you stay organized and, two, it helps put you to sleep. the more your brain associates doing certain tasks with sleep, the faster you’ll be able to drift off. so be smart and enjoy an extra hour of sleep.
  7. have one journal for in class notes and one to retake and organize your notes at home. in class you do not have time to keep your thoughts organized. with tangents from your teachers and questionable notes, its best to just use a pencil, pen, and highlighter to make scratch notes in class and then come home and organize it into something that you can study from. this idea has kept me afloat time and time again.
  8. talk to your teachers. do yourself a favor, ask and answer questions in class and go to your teachers’ office hours if they have them. if you do this, your teachers are more likely to recognize you and will be more lenient with your grade (since it shows you’re engaged and involved). you don’t necessarily need to like the teacher, just pretend you care. smile and nod along as you ask about their lives, questions about the content, and for advice that you are never going to take. this is a pretty slytherin thing i’ve been doing for years and it has got me so many half points back, especially in math and science.
  9. use quizzes and tests to study for finals. as i stated earlier, it’s important to save your assessments to study, and that is especially true during finals. teachers commonly use similar questions on the final as unit tests and quizzes. think of how many more points you can score on that final if you just study your tests.
  10. make a study group. find friends and people in your classes that you would like to study with and meet up! they’ll definitely be able to help you understand topics and it’ll be more fun than holing yourself up in your room. also, explaining concepts to others will help you better understand them and answer those questions on your tests.
  11. make a weekly to-do list. some of you may already do this in your weekly spreads, but it’s important to make to-do lists of goals and tasks you need to complete. this isn’t necessarily studying and notes but things such as cleaning your room, watering your plants, or going grocery shopping. make lists, organize yourself, don’t be a mess like me.
  12. reward yourself for doing well. whether it’s talking to your teacher or scoring straight a’s, we all work hard. so why not treat yourself to a nice dinner or relaxing bath? have fun, relax, and don’t let yourself get too stressed. remember to unwind.
  13. sit up front in class. i know, i know, you don’t really want to, but think about it. if you’re up front, you are going to be 100% more engaged and paying more attention. and this will make your teacher remember you, which you now know the benefits of. you will also be able to see the board easier, get your questions answered, and hear what is going on.
  14. talk to the people around you in your classes. jeremy from physics sneezes on you and suddenly, you’ve got the flu and can’t make it to your lit lecture. what are you going to do? text that new friend you made from lit that sits next to in the lecture hall of course. simply talking to people on your first day can help you stay on top of class in case you miss or can help you study before the test. never doubt the benefits of knowing people.
  15. if there’s an opportunity for extra credit, take it. i don’t care how good you are in that class or how perfect your grades are, take the extra credit. those few extra points could be the ones that take you from a b to an a. just do it and don’t question it, you may need them. 
  16. outline all papers and presentations. you have a draft due for your class in a few hours and you open you computer and prepare to type. but where to begin? what are you writing? how do you want to phrase it? well, you could already know that if you had outlined it. take the time to research, write a thesis, and fully understand your prompt before you write. especially if this is a persuasive essay. do this as well for presentations and visual assignments so you say every fact and point you want to.
  17. keep your test dates by you at all times. no matter who you are, you need to know when tests are coming up. and, as someone who tends to leave things at home sometimes, i may not have my planner with those tests dates next to me when i need them. but what do i have? my phone. i use the app My Study Life to keep track of those dates. i explain that beautiful app in this post.
  18. have a ‘school survival kit.’ by now i think you’ve caught on to the fact i can be a bit forgetful. so i like to have a little bag with me that has things i may need that i could have forgotten. this includes a pen, pencil, highlighter, a few pads, some mints, pain medicine, allergy medicine, tissues, band-aids, hand sanitizer, tide-to-go (stain remover), and other such items. i may make a list of these items at another time.
  19. if you have a question, ask. i’ve already gone over the benefits of talking in class but it’s also extremely important to understand your content. it’s better to ask than not know, even if you think the question is dumb. there’s a good chance someone else has that exact question. it’s also better to look stupid than have that count against you during assessments.
  20. if your university, college, or high school has a writing center, use it. i work in a writing center and we are here to help. we do nothing so much of the time and you coming in makes our day. contrary to the popular opinion, we aren’t going to judge your writing or insult you (unless you ask for it). but we also aren’t going to correct your entire paper, we want to help you learn how to edit your papers and make sure you’re fitting the requirements. and this goes for all tutoring centers; if they’re an option, use them. 
Positive Thinking Tips

1. Be grateful for what you have. Too often we think about what we don’t have, or how we’ve been hurt, or what’s gone wrong. But there are even more things to be thankful for.

2. Believe you have what it takes to succeed. Don’t give up on yourself when you do something stupid or you meet some obstacle that interrupts your plans. You’re still in control of your destiny.

3. Write your negative thoughts down on a piece of paper then tear it into pieces or burn the list. Now, write a long list of personal affirmations and decide to read through this several times a day.

4. Recognise and avoid all the negative people who’ll wear you down or knock you off your path. Often whiners and complainers are never going to change – so minimize the time you spend with them.

5. Identify and hang out with positive people who see life as a gift to be treasured and enjoyed. These are the people who see the good in others, and offer encouragement to everyone they meet.

advice for people in school, taking notes

yo, since it’s that time of year, here’s my unsolicited advice on how to take notes. it’s primarily for college or high school folks but i suppose anyone who is in a positive to take notes could use this.

here’s the advice:

make your notes as CASUAL as possible. by which i mean, put them in your voice, make them funny, use memes, write out information as if you were texting it to your friend, curse!, use everyday phrases and weird internet speak, relate it to your life if possible!, fucking hashtag that shit, relate it to things you like, write out academic articles like they are just Drama happening to your friends, etc etc– do this in class and when doing the readings and when making studying guides for tests!!

even if you are taking notes on the reading and you have NO IDEA what is going on (real talk: im doing reading for my english masters right now and i have NO IDEA what this man is saying), try to get the basic gist or even if you can tell the writer feels negatively or positively towards a particular subject, WRITE THAT SHIT DOWN. 

Here are honest to god, some examples from my notes right now:

  • I have literally no idea what this man is saying– it seems to be something about God?– the difference between learning stuff just for the sake of learning and learning stuff to make order and sense and “find God” 
  • Culture is the study of perfection and goes beyond religion because we make up religion and culture is about more than us?? its possible that’s what this dude is saying. i give it a 60-40 shot.
  • DONT TRUST MACHINERY. EVERYTHING IS MACHINERY. WEALTH IS JUST MACHINERY. CULTURE MATTERS OVER MONEY/MACHINERY/RELIGION/EVERYTHINGGG. GOOO CULTURE!
  • will he ever writer a sentence shorter than 8 lines long??? #probablynot
  • I am not totally convinced by his culture= perfection argument but then again that could be the exact opposite of what he’s saying. 
  • “Another newspaper, representing, like the Nonconformist, one of the religious organisations of this country, was a short time ago giving an account of the crowd at Epsom on the Derby day, and of all the vice and hideousness which was to be seen in that crowd; and then the writer turned suddenly round upon Professor Huxley, and asked him how he proposed to cure all this vice and hideousness without religion. I confess I felt disposed to ask the asker this question: And how do you propose to cure it with such a religion as yours? How is the ideal of a life so unlovely, so unattractive, so narrow, so far removed from a true and satisfying ideal of human perfection, as is the life of your religious organisation as you yourself image it, to conquer and transform all this vice and hideousness?” 10 – I mean i do fuck with this part tho
  • He’s at Oxford. Fucking loves Oxford. On Oxford’s dick

the point is, i clearly don’t really know what’s going on, but hopefully the professor will clue me in and i’ll at least have some idea of what he said by the end of it. plus just writing your notes in a fun casual way is going to make reading back over them SO much more enjoyable and memorable! (there’s science to back this up but i gotta finish this work so no time to fact check myself now just trust me)

alright, advice over. good luck with school dudes!

[OH Also, if you write a direct quote in your notes– ALWAYS WRITE THE PAGE NUMBER. you’ll need that shit if you use it in a paper.]

compliments - zach dempsey

word count: 1.245

warnings: none i think???? romance lmao

plot: you decide to brighten up zach’s day with a few compliments in his bag

a/n: i just wanted to write something quick and cute so here

part 2

The class emptied seconds after the dismissive bell rang. The previous silence that reigned over the halls was now shattered by hundreds of voices, hundreds of footsteps hitting the ground.

Usually, you’d be out of the classroom in the blink of an eye but for some reason, on this particular day, you took your sweet time placing your notebook and pens in their designated bag.

That slowness resulted in you seeing something unexpected.

Keep reading