What to Expect:

nothing but the worst.

“Some women choose to follow men, and some women choose to follow their dreams. If you’re wondering which way to go, remember that your career will never wake up and tell you that it doesn’t love you anymore.”

― Lady Gaga

In the long run, none of this will matter. Leave your feelings at the door. It’s okay to learn lessons twice. Set backs are to be expected. If only one: your personal life, or career can be going well, choose the career. People never change, and if anything, I can count on you to disappear and to hurt me. At least this lesson was much quicker to learn than it was last time. But it doesn’t stop me grinding my teeth whenever I think of you.

In other news, I joined a gym.

Hey Future Lauren! (alternatively, Dear Reader)

It’s a late April evening and you are trying to reflect on what you wrote for this semester. I am sure that you (well, me.) will look back on this and say “god lauren why were you always such a dweeb?” You’re not a dweeb, you’re trying to be genuine. You had feelings that matter, damn it! And you wrote about them! Maybe not well the first time but that’s what drafts were for! I’ll look back on this letter and say “were you drunk?” to which I will answer my own question: no. I’m not. I’m exhausted and burnt out.

I have been in school for 16 out of my 21 years on this earth. Not even 21 years! My birthday is the first which is before this will be due. Keep this in mind as you read your own writing, and cut yourself some slack- you don’t know what you don’t know yet. Long division scared you once and that passed, so this will too. The burned out feeling will pass. You will get some of your traction back, you will hopefully feel like to start to matter more. Hopefully you will stop grumbling at people who tell you to stop stressing out. They try to care about you, they just didn’t have sixty pages of revisions to do in less than a week. They just don’t understand. Cut them some slack.

As far as writing, you did pretty well as far as you can tell. You struggle with poetry but with every draft, you tried to write more images and put them in there. You tried to show a lot and tell less than you had in the draft before. You strived especially to be concise in your writing, which you struggle with in other classes. You hated poetry significantly less than you do with other classes. Your rhythm is still off but hey, you will survive. You can always revise. You probably won’t, but you can.

Go take a nap or something.

You(rs,)

Lauren J. Hurlock
April, 2013.

Vonnegut’s Eight Rules of Creative Writing

1. Use the time of a total stranger in such a way that he or she will not feel the time was wasted.
2. Give the reader at least one character he or she can root for.
3. Every character should want something, even if it is only a glass of water.
4. Every sentence must do one of two things—reveal character or advance the action.
5. Start as close to the end as possible.
6. Be a sadist. No matter how sweet and innocent your leading characters, make awful things happen to them—in order that the reader may see what they are made of.
7. Write to please just one person. If you open a window and make love to the world, so to speak, your story will get pneumonia.
8. Give your readers as much information as possible as soon as possible. To heck with suspense. Readers should have such complete understanding of what is going on, where and why, that they could finish the story themselves, should cockroaches eat the last few pages.