Edna St. Vincent Millay, one among the list of my much admired poets, reckoned, “Soar, eat ether, see what has never been seen; depart, be lost, but climb.” On a particularly not-so-good-day of undefined parameters, I set out by myself for a walk to the Hoe. It was a lovely afternoon, full of sunshine and nature seemed to be bustling with life. It teaches you to be full of gratitude for the little things we pass by but don’t take much note of.
This week, I intend to discuss some of my thoughts and experiences to help creating/ presenting/ writing your first assignments. Of course, all of us have our own ‘methods’, but here’s something I hope is useful.
1. Begin Early: The thief of procrastination is time…or is it? On a more serious note, do not wait long to begin on conceptualizing ideas – often, the idea of getting things done far outweighs the doing. I would suggest you begin a rough framework of conceptualizing beforehand. A stream of ideas may not necessarily be coherent, but is a good starting point.
2. Use available resources: The phrase ‘optimum use of available resources’ is important to execute. I consider the Charles Seale-Hayne library one of the greatest assets of the University of Plymouth. It is open twenty-four hours a day, all year. In case you have a group project that requires you to ‘build’ or ‘model’ something, you can always book a quiet room here to discuss or brainstorm ideas. Since my course is intensive and has a combination of reading and writing, I utilize the library a great deal – and often in a quiet corner with a cup of coffee to keep the brain cells active.
3. Revise: As a postgraduate student, you are supposed to be an independent researcher and a self-starter. It is important to reengage with your work to fine-tune and polish it into finesse. I suggest timetabling in a way that allows time for the three Re’s: redrafting, rewriting and reediting.
4. Improvise: After you have had your initial evaluation, if there is scope for you to improvise on your project/assignment/work, please engage with reordering/making essential changes. This could be a wonderful opportunity to learn more: the realm of ideas is an intriguing place to dwell, after all.
This week personally has been exciting: some acceptances, some rejections from publishers. The seaside has somehow found an inextricable association with, and inclusion in, most of my writing. Plymouth’s waterfront adds to the volume of work I’m producing. I’m quite fascinated with how the sky looks in different places, different cities – and I’m often spellbound by a disbanded cluster of clouds in Plymouth. I am discovering new places, walking unexplored stretches during the day-time, and deciphering new routes. It is a little exercise that keeps me going.
I wish for you to revel in the bounties of nature and experience their joyous idiosyncrasies.