Skip to main content

Luis Arce Diaz

SFU Student Undergraduate
Communication, Art + Technology › Communication
Co-operative Education › Local Co-op

Neon lights on a window reading "What is your story?"
"Pushing yourself to do the hard work even though you may not feel like it is the difference between simply making it and genuine improvement."

As one of SFU’s newest programs, the Creative Writing Minor is uncharted territory for many aspiring student writers. Originally a single course with a certificate, the minor program comprises of several courses that aim to hone students’ writing skills and unique voices with the core four courses being (ENGL 272) Creative Reading, (ENGL 372) Creative Writing: Poetry, (ENGL 374) Creative Writing: Fiction, and (ENGL 472) Advanced Creative Writing. These courses build the foundation blocks of effective writing through theory, practice, and discussion of writing. Many people may think that the process to improve your writing skills is as straightforward as just simply writing more, but there’s a lot more to writing than meets the eye. These courses deepened my understanding of what it takes to make impactful writing, and many of these lessons can be applied to other areas of life. 

Make Time to Write 

One of the first tips I received was to make time for writing each day, even just for a little bit. Most of the time, writers wait for the perfect moment when inspiration strikes, then suddenly a masterpiece becomes clear to them. It’s true that you only get better through practicing a skill, and while writing uninspired may seem like a hassle, it’s in these mundane moments wherein you find your best work sometimes. Pushing yourself to do the hard work even though you may not feel like it is the difference between simply making it and genuine improvement.  

Expose Yourself to Different Writing Styles 

Another good way to improve one’s writing skills is to read the works of others. A lot of writers tend to put themselves in a bubble of comfortability, with texts that affirm one’s preconceptions of writing. But there is real merit to exposing yourself to works that you are not particularly interested in or have previously had a hard time comprehending. Being open to these experiences, learning from them and applying them to your writing is crucial to one’s development as a writer, as it fleshes out many of your personal blind spots. It’s often said that good writers borrow, and great artists steal, and while plagiarism is wrong, there is a merit to emulating a style you are not comfortable with. 

Engage in Thoughtful Peer Reviews 

The exercise of being open to other people’s writing isn’t limited to the work of established authors. I believe the greatest lesson I learned in my courses was to have an appreciation of my classmates’ work. Everyone in these classes is there to learn how to become a better writer, and thus also have different backgrounds and experiences which define the way they write. 

Regardless of aptitude for the medium, there is a value to analyzing your classmate’s work, as your peers may be just as motivated to become an excellent writer as you are. As much written text as there is today, the chances that someone will invent something new and original are just as rare. Even if their work isn’t something as drastic as a mind-blowing idea, seeing writing through the lens of your peers can be inspirational.  

While these lessons pertain to writing, they can be translated to practical life advice: Push through the mundanity, find inspiration through your classmates' work, and don’t be afraid to reach to your peers. By doing these things, the Creative Writing Program not only allowed me to improve my skills, but it allowed me to tackle life with different perspectives. 


Luis Arce Diaz

SFU Student Undergraduate
Communication, Art + Technology › Communication
Co-operative Education › Local Co-op

Luis is a 4th year Communication student working as a content creator for the OLC.

visibility  273
Jul 14, 2022

Posts by Author

Lights reading out the word "passion"
Passion is Something Learned

Luis reflects on his four-year journey in finding his passion for Communication. Despite struggling to connect his introductory classes with his main interest in media studies, he persevered and found the value of having a strong foundation on which to explore the things he felt happy doing.

You Might Like These... Co-op Reflections, Professional Development, Career Exploration, Student Success

picture of marlo in a lab, smiling
Student Spotlight: Marlo Shackleford

The 4th and final interview with the MBB co-op students. The OLC talks to Marlo Shackleford, a 4th year MBB student who worked 3 terms over the last year first with Welichm Biotech Inc. and then UBC James Hogg iCAPTURE Centre at St. Paul’s Hospital.

Old magazine that reads, "Cool! English"
Doing Your English Degree? Be Ready fro Unexpected Career Opportunities

What can you do with an English degree? The wide range of opportunities may surprise you. Arts & Social Sciences Co-op staff and English Undergraduate Advisor offer tips on pursuing a career with a degree in English.

animated man being pulled down a hill an @ sign, underneath the words "take control of your reputation"
Enhancing Your Online Reputation

Your resume and cover letter impressed them… Your interview dazzled them… and you’re confident that your references will sing your praises. But, what else could factor into an employer’s assessment of you as a potential employee?

You Might Like These... Academic Success

three sfu students laughing with each other
Four Non-CMNS Courses That Have Contributed to My Co-op Success

Think WQB requirements aren't relevant to your field of study? Think again! Kar Hing shares four non-communications courses that helped her succeed on her Co-op work term.

Three people riding their bikes down a road.
Ways to Stay Active in the Summer: On Wheels Edition

Looking for a new adventure on wheels? Read more for some local suggestions from SFU Recreation!

Girl wearing a pink bucket hat smiling at the camera
Defeating My Inner Saboteur – Working with a Learning Disability

I never felt that I was good enough from my early years. I was a child that frequently struggled in school. No matter how much I put my heart and soul into projects or homework, I felt constantly knocked down. So a mix of excitement and dread came over me when I was notified that I was accepted into the Knowledge Network Co-op. Continue to read about how I defeated my inner saboteur and learned to work with a learning disability.