10 Rules for Writers: Rachel

It’s another edition of 1o Rules! this time with our new president of the English Graduate Student Society, Rachel Bryant. Our lovely prez is entering her third year of PhD (the one where she gets to stop taking tests and gets to start writing in a tiny carrel or home desk or wherever PhDs get stashed after their coursework). Keep an eye out for her monogram on Imperial Rachalvia, or, more importantly, her dissertation, which grapples with the question of how Atlantic Canada fits in the emerging field of northeastern literary studies, proposing a new hemispheric scheme that empowers ignored histories, marginalized perspectives, and Indigenous nationalities. That’s right.

1. Em-dash or en-dash? Guess this is what your guidance counsellor meant when he said you would face tough decisions.
2. There’s honey, which is good, but there’s bee-slaves, which is not good. (It’s natural to feel ambivalent about problematic interrogations of the hegemonic enterprise of beekeeping.)
3. Stop falling asleep face-down on things that are boring.
4. Strike down with great vengeance and furious anger those who would attempt to poison and destroy your thesis.
5. When feeling under confident about submitting your material to an American periodical, remember that you are a saboteur sent by the Queen to trick Americans into superfluous U’s.
6. When you get stuck, start typing random sequences of letters. Soon, you will have invented your own language. You are the only living authority on this language! Don’t waste this opportunity. Recruit others to assist in building your empire. Imperial Rachalvia is nigh.
7. If you feel like you’re on the verge of a nervous breakdown, your ideas and doubts wake you up at night, and you’re worried that everything you’ve ever said is highly offensive, congratulations: you are in “the zone.”
8. I before E except after C, or when sounded as “eh,” as in “neighbour” or “weigh.”
9. When confronted with the substandard quality of the work you have submitted to a respected authority in your field, pretend like you have narcolepsy.
10. “It’s” ALWAYS means “it is.” “Its” is already possessive!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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2 thoughts on “10 Rules for Writers: Rachel

  1. Number 5 is my favourite. Playing tricks on entire nations always boosts my confidence.

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