Tuesday, October 6, 2009

College and Writing

Still trying to figure out if the two coexist.

For those of you who don't know, I'm currently in my freshman year at certain University (6,000 undergrad, its name can also be an adjective used to describe cows, belts, and suspicious stains, it's right there on the sidebar if you need help <---) and It's been a little rough so far. One of the main sources of difficulty, I think, is I've been basically unable to write since I got here.

I've written some--maybe 2,000 words total? But there are a few things keeping me from being productive:

--other things I have to do. This one's pretty major. I'm in class a lot. When I'm not in class, I'm doing homework (something I didn't really do in high school, so there you go). When I'm not doing homework, I'm usually staring at my TV trying not to think about homework.

--lack of time to think about anything. Let's face it, if I could just daydream through my classes the way I did in high school, I'd have a million ideas of what to write about by now. But my classes here are hard, damn it! So I don't have that luxury anymore.

--the assumption that if you're just sitting in your room by yourself, you're doing something wrong.

That's the major one.

So this post is really an open letter to all the people in my life who think I'm unhappy when I'd rather be by myself. Maybe you can use it for people in your life, too.


It's okay.

Sometimes I need to get shit done, and sometimes that shit is something you don't understand, and that's okay, but it means you shouldn't make me try to explain it to you.

It's not that I don't love you, it's that sometimes the people in my head really are more interesting. (They're also more likely to make me money than you are. Sorry. Go buy me a sandwich).

Sometimes I really don't care about my Human Development homework because I'm trying to care about something that isn't real.

Sometimes I can't read the beautiful literature you assign me because it makes me too goddamn intimidated to write anything down.

Sometimes I just want to go home and go back to my real writing spot--in my basement, under a blanket, cat on my lap, watching Project Runway reruns.

That's how I roll. So far, this really isn't.


Emilia said...


I know how you feel. To a reasonable extent.

I've got a crazy workload this year and writing just doesn't fit in... anywhere. It's hard to deal with.

The only thing I can say is... hopefully you'll find a balance. Treat writing like an on-campus job, maybe. You've proven your skills - no one can judge you for wanting to keep proving them.

Good luck Hannah. <3

Kody Mekell Keplinger said...

Oh, honey, you know I can relate!!!! I have edited since I started, but written absolutely nothing. Ugh. Why can't college be as simple as high school? Or something. *sigh*

grace said...

Writing in college was definitely difficult.

I slept less than I wanted, skipped going to movies with friends, and acknowledged that I was going to be a B+ student instead of the A I was used to. And after a while my friends just got used to me being "anti-social." Or I just told them I was doing "homework" a lot more often than I was.

I also wrote hardcore over breaks. Like tens of thousands of words in a day. (not often that many, but you get the picture)

I also didn't do as many clubs and things as other people.

Anonymous said...

It's hard to find a balance between friends/school/writing in college. I just try not to worry about it. If I can't write every single day, it's not the end of the world. I just do what I can and enjoy living. :)

Gary Couzens said...

It was a (ahem) long time ago, but I'm pretty sure I didn't write anything significant while doing my English degree. (Besides, I only had a typewriter as an alternative to longhand in those days.) I know I wrote one short story which was learning-curve work to be honest - this was six years before I ever sold one.

However, all experience is material for future writing, so look at it that way. Your muse won't go away. And as Emilia says above, you've already proven your ability and talent.

Karla said...

Wow, I feel blessed then. I manage to write whilst doing scholarly things. Some weeks are better than others of course. But yes, since college started, I have been able to write a fair amount.

But good luck, girl!

Anonymous said...

I'm living at home while in college, so I don't have the dorm-mates pressure of DOING THINGS with them, but I get what you mean. College is a lot harder than high school, definitely harder to balance with writing, but you'll figure it out I think. I've found that I have to prioritize... which homework do I REALLY need to work on right now, and which can I put off so I can write?

Ha. I'm sure my professors would love to hear I write instead of do homework. Win. Lol.

Robert Young said...

Don't even worry, dude. It's borderline impossible to write during college unless it's during a holiday or the time immediately after a test where something new is being taught but not fleshed out. How can you justify writing a bunch of pages when there's plenty of homework and studying to do? It's a little ridiculous, but it will come to you.