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

 Don’t be too hard on yourself.

Speaking of diets, researchers doing a study about dieting found that people who were told to take it easy on themselves before eating as many cookies as they wanted actually ended up eating fewer cookies than people who weren’t told not to beat themselves up about indulging in a sweet treat. It turns out that the people who weren’t discouraged from saying mean things to themselves felt awful about having a treat and then ate more cookies to make the icky feelings go away!

When your writing plans don’t work out perfectly, don’t beat yourself up. Just keep moving. A friend of mine beat herself up about comments she got back on a paper so bad that she just didn’t do any writing for weeks—and the comments weren’t bad at all! When I get feedback from people that doesn’t just gush over how brilliant I am, I have to remind myself that falling off your bike hurts and can result in some broken bones and nasty scars, but laying in the road for a few weeks after a fall isn’t the answer. Pausing to say nasty things to yourself will just make it harder to feel like writing again.

Next: Super-secret advanced techniques: using rewards to produce writing. ->