A month or so ago, I blogged a couple of times about the rubber stamps I wanted to get to slam down on my students’ homework… stuff that happens so often I need rubber stamps to save myself the trouble of writing it out.
One would be COLLEGE!!
As in: “This is college. You’re supposed to be beyond this childish crap.”
Some students, I guess, don’t give a shit. If only I had a red phone hot line straight to their parents. “Save your money. They’re not ready for a two year community college, must less this cash hole.” They don’t proofread. They don’t spell check. They don’t, amazingly, take notes in class.
Do they think they can get the knowledge by osmosis? This is like a foreign language, and if you don’t write it down in, say, late January, how are you going to remember that I insist on numbers being spelled out as words in dialogue, come late April when you have to turn in your final assignment?
But the COLLEGE!! stamp might apply to just about anyone.
You may have a character named Carol on page one and then change it to June on page nine, and then back to Carol later on. You might rewrite a scene and forget to read over it and find that the laughing little boy you cut to at one point got killed off twenty pages earlier in the previous rewrite. Producers hate that shit. They hate reading something and thinking, “This guy can’t keep this stuff straight. Why do we want to pay him money if he doesn’t care?”
College!! is easy. That’s one problem. You have time to go out drinking and partying and do volunteer work and do more volunteer work and more partying and going to classes and a little homework and going out of town to hangout with friends and it’s really easy to squeeze your work in and get an A.
Work!! is hard. You work and you sleep and you pray you don’t get fired. You don’t party. You don’t go play. And the tough part is, you don’t find time to write.
That’s the main thing that College!! sucks away from you… the idea that you have to write every day, since students do a little work here and there, get good grades and think that’s what life’s about. You have to claw out time to write six days a week. You have to figure out ways to party less and write more… or you won’t get an “A” in your writing life.
It’s not easy.
And there’s no one there with a rubber stamp to remind you.
You have to do it yourself.