Tag Archives: School

“Write Every Day.”

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This is my monthly post for the Insecure Writer’s Support Group. You can join HERE if you’d like. It’s a good way to connect with struggling writers.

Write every day?

But I’m a student.

Time is not my friend. As a (wannabe) writer, it’s the thing that makes me the most insecure. I see posts all the time about how to get better at writing. As my theatre professor says, “Perfect practice makes perfect.” If I’m not practicing, I can’t possibly hope to improve. I was actually thinking about this last night. I’ve had a month to work on submissions for my school’s literary magazine. A full month. I drafted a piece here and edited a piece there, but in the end, I just had a lot of mediocre prose drafts that I maybe worked on for 4 hours in total. Maybe.

Where did all my time go?

I spend my life reading and writing for school. Right now, I should be working on my American literature thematic analysis paper for Hemingway’s “Big Two-Hearted River,” but I’m taking thirty minutes to write for myself instead, not to please an impossible-to-please professor. If it isn’t American literature, it’s my poetry class. I can communicate with everyone through my writing it seems, except for my professor. I’ve had to twist my writing style into something so mundane and despicable, that I’m beginning to hate it. And I’m hating my professor for what he’s done to my writing. He’s sucked out my voice and inserted his own.

One of his comments on one of my poems (which admittedly I didn’t like because I drafted it at 3AM) said, “You sounded like yourself rather than the angry presence of the poem. Don’t apply yourself to the text.” It’s a trivial comment, and he subtracted only one point from my overall score; however, this poem was about myself. I’m not an angry person. The poem wasn’t meant to be angry. I still don’t think it sounds angry. The voice is meant to be mine and people like me: lost, sad, confused, unwilling. I never read a poem like myself unless it’s supposed to be about myself, and it’s discouraging. I’ve gotten to the point where I never want to show people my stuff ever again. I just want to hide.

So if school isn’t making me MORE insecure and work isn’t sucking away my time, when do I get to write? Not breaks. I’m preparing a big presentation for a huge national convention and catching up on the homework I’m behind on. I have to start applying for summer jobs soon. And then I’ll be perpetually tired again. I’ll want to sleep or play video games or watch TV, something (anything) mindless to keep from thinking as much as I have to during the school year.

School has made me a better writer; I’m not going to lie about that. I’ve found my literary voice. I’ve discovered new writers. I’ve gotten to experiment with form. But at the same time, school has killed my muse. I’m obsessed with my grades. I’ve got a great GPA, and it probably won’t amount to much in the future, but I’m proud of my 3.96. But I wish I had more time for myself and my writing.

I barely find time to blog once a week let alone write every day. I had the time yesterday evening, but I was so tired, I sat in my bed, watched YouTube videos, and passed out for 8 uninterrupted hours of sleep. It was wonderful. I had a lot of plans for this year. I was going to hammer out a draft for my first novel, but right now, I’m struggling to hammer out three short papers and one poem a week.

Please tell me there’s a light at the end of this tunnel?

30 Day Writing Challenge – Day 29

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What are your goals for the next 30 days?

I have less than 30 days left in Japan. Less than 30 days. I feel as if I should have a ton of things just jammed into one list…but I don’t. Perhaps my goals for the next month aren’t too big, but I do want to enjoy the last few weeks I have here.

*Finish school comfortably – this means not procrastinating on my last few projects. I want to get stuff finished and not worry about what’s to come.

*Go to karaoke – Believe it or not, I haven’t been to karaoke place in Japan yet; this is practically a sin seeing as it is very popular.

*Climb a mountain – I can’t make it to Fuji, but there is a similar mountain nearby. I’d really like to go and experience the scenery.

*Go to the beach – It’s. So. Close. I want to go. I want to live there. I need the beach in my life.

*Buy a yukata and wear it to the Tanabata Festival – My last festival while I’m here is the star festival. I want to go all out. Wear my yukata (basically a summer kimono) and all the accessories (minus the shoes, since I have giant feet).

*Buy a Gameboy Advance and play Japanese video games – Even though my favorite video game series (Fire Emblem) just released a new game for the 3DS or whatever the latest game system is, I can’t justify buying it. But I can buy a cheaper/older game system here and play all my favorite nostalgic games!

*Finish my Camp NaNoWriMo goal of 25,000 words – I told myself I wanted to write more. Here’s hoping I don’t die.

*Return to America safely – I’m scared of going through American customs….

*Eat one giant American pizza – Even though I appreciate that the Japanese put Tabasco sauce on their pizza, I need lots of cheese, meat, and crust. Please…no more seaweed and sardines.

30 Day Writing Challenge – Day 11

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Something you always think “what if…” about.

Life is full of “what-ifs.” It’s not exactly helpful to dwell on them, but every once in a while, a “what-if” likes to poke its head into my day. They range from morbid (What if I had to take care of my family all by myself?) to humorous (What if I grew wings and flew off right now?). I’m not sure there is one that I think about quite often, but as a worrier, a lot of my negative “what ifs” have a common theme: money.

What if I had chosen a different school?

In hindsight, I wished I tried harder to get scholarship money. I wish I had worked harder on my ACT and SAT. I wish I could have been a bit smarter, so I could have gotten more money. I’m terrified of the loans I’m going to have to pay back. But the thing is, I worked my butt off. I came out of my high school with a 4.2 GPA, lots of AP courses, volunteer activities, and extracurricular activities. I took my ACT several times and couldn’t get higher than a 28. I kept telling myself that I would be fine if I got a 30, but I just couldn’t do it. I still got accepted to a highly ranked school. I got a nice scholarship, but I still had to take loans. Part of me says I should have gone to community college or a state school, but I needed to get out of my hometown. I love my college. I love what it has given me, but the future terrifies me.

What if I can’t find a job?

I will have a degree in English and Japanese Studies. I want to teach English overseas. I want to learn more languages. I want to do translation work. I want to do editing work. But what happens if I can’t find a job. What happens if my degree is useless? What happens if I can’t get hired as a teacher?

The future is a scary thing. I’m so unsure of where I’m going to be in a few years. I know I’m willing to work hard to survive, but I don’t know if I’ll be barely hanging on or not.