What I learned from...teaching freshmen Composition

Today is the first offering in my new guest post series. I've asked writers and writerly folks to share of the lessons they have learned through the years in the hopes that we can all learn with them.

Today's post comes from Melinda McGuire, a lovely lady who I've never met in person but hope to some day. Melinda is a southern fiction novelist and blogger. Having lived on both coasts, she settled down in her home state of Texas. She's a huge Faulkner fan, and currently she's compiling and editing an anthology, Rich Fabric, about the tradition, culture, and symbolism of quilting. The profits from Rich Fabric will be donated to the Twilight Wish Foundation, a non-profit foundation that grants wishes to senior citizens. Check out Melinda's blog to learn more about the anthology.

5 Things I Learned About Myself as a Writer from Teaching Freshmen Composition

1. It doesn’t matter where we are on the productivity scale - first essay or fifteenth book - some part of us fears the red pen.

2. When we fear failure, we shut down and get sucked into a negative, self-fulfilling prophecy. We pull out labels and excuses to cover ourselves, but ultimately, all roads lead to fear.

3. When someone finds something worthwhile in your writing and helps you bring that to the forefront, that changes the game, changes your mindset, changes your attitude.

4. There IS a difference between CONSTRUCTive criticism and DESTRUCTive criticism. Before you give feedback, know the difference. Then, be deliberate in your comments.

5. Write the first draft as a purging act. Get out the junk. Get all of it out on the paper, out on the computer screen. Then, sort through it. Find the good stuff. Build on that.

Great advice no matter where you are in your writing journey! To learn more about Melinda:
She'd love to connect with you on Twitter: @melindamcguire
You can also find her on Pinterest and Facebook.
Do you have words of wisdom to pass on to the masses? I'd love to have you as part of the series. Check out the call for posts here.