Many clients make appointments with the Writing Center and then cancel at the last minute. This practice is perfectly fine, and we tutors are happy that clients call the Writing Center to let us know when they cannot make an appointment. We understand that things come up. Life in the academy is hectic for all of us. And sometimes we do not accomplish what we think that we should because we shoulder the “baggage about writers.”
But I would like to challenge everyone to make an appointment ahead of time and keep it. Writing center tutors can help with all kinds of writing at all stages of the writing process, but we can also serve as a self-imposed deadline, a way to hold you accountable for having some part of an assignment or writing project completed. I have heard of some Writing Center clients who already do this: make an appointment ahead of time, so that they know they have to start working on their writing sooner rather than later.
Currently, I am working on writing a prospectus for a project that I intend to complete this semester, and the deadline for the prospectus is next Friday. Yet, I finished a draft of my prospectus just a few minutes ago. I have an appointment to meet with my project director on Tuesday, but I already finished the draft because I said I would e-mail it to him before the weekend. Because someone was expecting me to have some writing done, I had to do it. If it were left up to me, I am sure I would have not worked on the prospectus until next week sometime.
Time management is crucial during the college years, and it is a skill that very few have mastered. (I still haven’t found the perfect balance, if such a thing really exists.) I am certain that if given 40 hours in a day, I would complete all of my work well ahead of time, but until then, I keep trying to make some deadlines for myself—deadlines that allow me to finish writing ahead of my professors’ or bosses’ deadlines so that I have plenty of time to reread and revise.
So don’t depend on your professors. Make your own deadlines. Hold yourself accountable. Let the Writing Center help. Make an appointment.