Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Writing Consultant Highlight - Sarina Labold

Writing Consultant Highlight
Sarina LaBold

Sarina is a junior English and Media Studies major. Not only is Sarina good at writing, but one of her hobbies involves a creature that most of us do not see on a daily basis. Much like the feat of tending to horses, Sarina advices her students not to panic when a large writing task is in front of you. As a self-confessed fanatic note-taker for her paper writing style, Sarina's comments will give you ease.

 See below for Sarina's insights:

As a writing consultant, you know how to put a paper together, but what is your writing process like?
My papers begin as a bunch of page numbers and scribbles on loose-leaf that look like Egyptian hieroglyphs! I designate a page for each paragraph, and as I go through my sources, I put each fact/quote on the respective page. Sometimes I just write notes from each source and then put a 1, 2, or 3 next to it to indicate what paragraph it belongs to. Really, I often amaze myself how all my muddle creates a cohesive paper in the end! 

Let’s face it: No one is perfect. What is your biggest writing challenge?
Once I feel organized enough with what I want to say (which often takes a lot of time and courage!), I just have to sit down and write. If I get interrupted, I lose my train of thought and have to re-read my paper and go through my sources again. (This goes for everything but the introduction. I like to write this the day before I start the bodies.) Unfortunately, wanting to write the paper in one fell swoop is a good excuse to procrastinate… and if I convince myself it’s not a good excuse, my perfectionism kicks in, and I tell myself it won’t be as good of a paper!

How does your major help you become a better writer? How has Cedar Crest helped you become a better writer?
Being an English writing major makes you explore many different types and styles of writing. You get to examine famous authors’ voices and make your own. For example, I just completed two writing classes where brevity and clarity were vital: a fiction piece could not exceed two pages and a poem 20 lines. This type of class really makes you sort out your literary voice! Cedar Crest also provides many contest opportunities where you have the option of getting judges’ feedback.

What is something interesting not many people know about you?
I have a horse who thinks he can fit in my pocket, a turtle who thinks he’s a dog, and a betta fish who likes to sleep half out of the water. Maybe my animals have identity issues? 

What is your favorite book? Why?
This past semester I took a class entitled “Jane Austen and Eighteenth Century Literature.” I had never read any of Jane Austen’s works before and was pleasantly surprised how much I enjoyed her novels! At the moment I think Pride and Prejudice is my favorite, though once I read Persuasion, I’m sure that will take its place.

What is your general advice to writers?
Don’t panic! Good writing will come to those who dedicate themselves to reading and understanding the formats, styles, and voices of others. Take a piece you particularly like and try to mimic the style in a piece of your own. And, as with most things, start small. Limit yourself to two pages and expand your boundaries as you grow. 


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