College of Staten Island
 The City University of New York

  Harry Thorne,
  WAC Coordinator
  Office: Building 2S Rm 227
  Email WAC

Writing Across the Curriculum/
Writing in the Disciplines
for Students

 The more often you write the easier
 writing should get.

I would really love to run a marathon. But I would probably injure myself pretty badly or crash and burn at mile two if I just strapped on my shoes and ran toward the finish line without doing some training first.

Think about your writing ability and stamina as something you exercise over time. If you attempt to crank out a paper the night before its due you might end up feeling awful about writing because you associate it with sleep-deprivation, the pain of sitting in a chair for hours, tired eyes from staring at the computer screen, and feeling a bit disappointed with what you’ve produced.

If you build up your writing stamina over time, you may find that you’re able to get a lot more done and writing isn’t quite the awful task it can become when you’re stressed and tired. You can “train” your brain in intervals, like athletes do. Try setting a timer ten minutes and just write. Once the timer goes off after ten minutes, set it again for two minutes and give yourself a break. Once the timer signals that the break is over, start the whole process over again by giving yourself another ten minute writing burst. Repeat as necessary. As you get used to interval training, you may find that you can work for longer than ten minutes, which will mean that you bust through writing faster and more efficiently. This is a great way to learn how to make the most of every bit of time you get throughout the day; ten minutes of pure writing power can produce quite a bit of writing, actually!

Next: Pay attention to motivation. ->