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Showing posts from July, 2010

Your Writing: Stop! Assess! 911!

By Christine Stewart


Eighteen years ago, when I lived in LA, my best friend and roommate took a new kind of defense class for women. The kind with the man padded so thickly that he looked like the Michelin Man with a PacMan head.

Or, as I thought of the men, an inflated Gort head (for the The Day The Earth Stood Still enthusiast).
Julie would come home and alternately practice on me and show me some of the moves (after we lay down some pillows of course!). The first night, the instructor had taught them a mantra to keep the women focused on the process they were learning. It was: "Stop! Assess! 911!" You can imagine how often we leaped out from around corners and behind doors, yelling this and scaring the crap out of each other. Months.
A few years ago, I created a handout that I started requiring my students to fill out, one that gave them an opportunity to similarly engage with their writing before it and they fell victim to ambivalence, inertia, or fear.

Too often writers…