Last night, one of my professors told us something one of his former teachers told him and that he likes to keep in mind while writing:

H: hungry
A: angry
L: lonely
T: tired

His advice:  anytime you are writing and feel yourself up against a wall, or experiencing writer’s block (which everyone gets, no matter what you call it) that you stop, repeat this acronym, and decide if you are experiencing any of these emotions. If you are, fix it, and then return to writing.

Now writing down things my teachers say is not uncommon—I have so many from Howard Norman, my fiction writing professor and an excellent author, it’s ridiculous—but this one came at an especially good time for me.

Some of the Greek Week Committee with fellow House Mom Anna's sister at Day of Service!

Part of my job includes serving as one of the Greek Week and Homecoming Advisors. In case you are unfamiliar with these concepts (or went to a small undergrad like me), GW and HC are two weeks out of the year where the entire Greek system comes together and participates in a series of events. The week receives a theme; this year it’s “Let the Games Begin” for board games. The events include things like Olympics, skits, athletics, service, and more, and, after the week is over, three “match-ups” (Greek organizations matched together for the week) win first, second, and third place.

It’s an awesome week, but it naturally takes a lot of preparation and a lot of time. But, it also serves as a great way to witness the entire Greek community out together in one place participating in fun activities.

So yesterday, I was running on only 4 hours of sleep after going to sleep late and getting up early to finish an annotated bibliography for class. My nap-intentions fell through in the afternoon due to preparation for the BBQ and Canstruction event we held last night, and I was dreading class. Not because I didn’t like the book we were reading—I do—but because I was CERTAIN I would fall asleep.

I ended coming out fine; just a few occassions of fuzzy, sleepy brain that caused me to lose the note I was taking and fill it in with stuff like “something about science” or “race!” with nothing else beside it. But, I wasn’t visibly sleepy, so it was okay.

But, as he said his H.A.L.T. tip, I started running the list through my head and thinking about the last 24 hours, 12 of which had been ann. bib. writing:

Hungry? Why else would I keep bags of Easter themed Reese’s Pieces balls, Whoppers, and Thin Mints conveniently beside my desk….
Angry? Only at the lack of sources for the book I’m researching.
Lonely? Impossible. When you have a boyfriend who calls and supports you while your words are coming out in forms of “the annotbiblwhattttMARRRHWWWW” makes you feel supah loved.
Tired? I typed “Americens” because I momentarily thought that’s how you made Americans plural. So yeah, I’ll say I was tired….

I’m definitely going to keep this in mind as I get knee-deep in writing my 20-page seminar for the very same class, and with my writing in general. Who knows, maybe it will help me from doing this so much.

Rachel, my co-advisor for Greek Week. Girl keeps me sane.

And as for Greek Week, we have a Game Night tonight that I’m super pumped about. I hope everyone comes with their “game face” on—haha, get it? Game face?

And as for the men in my house who reported back spelling and punctuation errors in some of my blog posts, I can’t be perfect all the time. A few days out of the week is my max. But I proofread this entry a bunch of times, so here’s hoping.

I’ll leave you with this gem from Howard Norman:

“I’m terrified of anything to do with the future. I won’t even watch the Weather Channel.”
Which is funny because I am addicted to the Weather Channel.

“Lightning is going to strike me dead for saying this. But I have my papers in order, and I told my wife and daughter I love them today. I watched CSI for the first time two days ago and I’m fucking addicted.”
Okay, two. But you’re laughing, right? 


2 thoughts on “H.A.L.T.

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