It’s been a really long time (like always) since I’ve written anything here. I must really try to not make excuses, but it’s really difficult for me to juggle EVERYTHING in my life at the moment.
Academia is a world that has been sucking me in more and more every day. Most of my concerns every day start and end with all my academic priorities. On the one hand I don’t mind this, because the work I do is rewarding and I love what I’m doing, but on the other hand I am seriously slacking off on my writing. This is the first time in what feels like forever that I can type something that isn’t vaguely academic, and that includes emails.
Because I’m studying English Literature, I’m very close to writing, yet extremely far away. I’m close in the sense that I get to think about literature, finding what I like and thinking about elements I want to bring in my own writing. I’m far away in the sense that I don’t get time to write, which is what make or breaks me as a writer.
People, especially fellow writers, are somewhat iffy about the idea of studying literature. Some of them have very valid arguments. Studying English Lit has not been known as the most creative environment for writing. Academic writing can be seen as very restrictive and oppressive, which I do understand, but also don’t.
I feel strangely liberated in my academic writing. It is an environment that I’ve gotten used to, and it has taught me a lot about structure, flow of argument and focussing on the core of your idea. I’ve always been criticised that my writing was very vague, but apparently I’ve improved a lot over the years. I hope this will translate well into my creative writing.
Many also say that you don’t need to study English Lit in order to write novels, which is true, I guess. However, you then must read a LOT of novels, because if you don’t read, you probably won’t be able to write (unless you’re some word genius). I prefer studying English Lit, because it gives you a lot of the background knowledge of different literary movements and styles, which can enrich your work tremendously.
Many academics turn out to be great novelists. Take J.R.R. Tolkien, for example; he was a linguist, and he did something extremely creative with that! If I combine English Lit, General Linguistics and Theater Studies, who knows what I might land up with!
The only downfall that I’ve experienced with being in the academic sphere, is time. Time is the most precious commodity of your student life, because you never seem to have enough of it. Academics eat time away at the same time that sleeping does. A typical day might sound like this: “Oh, it’s morning! Better wake up!”… “Run, run, run to class!” … “Eat!”… “Work, work, work!”… “Oh, it’s 2AM! Better go to sleep!”… “Shit… it’s morning already.”… and the cycle continues on forever, or until there’s vacation or a long-weekend.
I’m so stuck between sleeping, eating, running and working, that I hardly have time for what I really want to do: writing. And when I do have time, usually between 5 and 6 PM, I’m so exhausted that my brain keeps shutting down. Usually I take a nap in that time, so that my brain is somewhat restored in order to finish an assignment or read a required reading (believe me, reading academic article can be quite taxing on your brain power).
My friends don’t seem to really understand my situation, at least those from other faculties. They say that, because I’m studying a BA degree, I’m not really working. Because my degree has nothing to do with “a real profession*”, I’m just having “fun”?! That’s a whole lot of really strong crap!
As you can see, even complaining about how people don’t take your degree seriously is a part of my academic life.
On the bright side, with this long-weekend that we’ve had, I’ve caught up with a lot of my work! I just need to make sure that my time management doesn’t go haywire again; and I must stay away from my anime!
Oh well, hopefully, with my work being sort-of up to date, I might have more time to write, but only time will tell…
*Just by the way, being an academic is a real profession, albeit not the most luxurious one available.