1. Linnea
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    Linnea New Member

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    Finding Balance as a Creative Writing Undergrad

    Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by Linnea, Feb 27, 2014.

    Hey all, I'm new here at the Writing Forums. I'm a CW major at University of Wisconsin, and I'm having some issues balancing my other schoolwork with my writing. I'd love to go to grad school after I graduate (Fall '14), but I'm finding it increasingly difficult to concentrate on my other classes while giving my creative writing class the effort it deserves.

    For example, yesterday I planned to devote the entire day to a project I'm working on in my Romantic Autobiographies class, and of course, as soon as I sat down I felt wildly inspired to write this story I've been putting a lot of thought into recently, and ended up spending the next eight or so hours focusing on that. It's so hard to find a happy medium.

    Do any other CW majors have any tips for me? I would certainly appreciate it.
     
  2. obsidian_cicatrix
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    obsidian_cicatrix I ink, therefore I am. Contributor

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    Not sure I have much to contribute, sorry. I have never had to juggle as you are doing. For me it was finding a balance between working long, anti-social shifts and my responsibilities as a parent and grandparent, while still finding the time to write.

    But, I see this is your first post, and as you haven't yet put a post in the New Members thread, I thought I'd swing by and bid you welcome.

    I hope you get some helpful feedback. :)
     
  3. Mckk
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    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Sounds like you need better discipline, that's all. Responsibilities are important, and you need to learn to prioritise. While your writing is important, if you fail your degree thanks to failing other classes, a completed manuscript at the end would do you little good (esp as it probably won't sell).

    Also, those sudden wild bursts of inspiration that only strikes when you're sat down to do some other kind of work? Probably your brain wanting to procrastinate.

    I still remember, when I really didn't want to revise for my exams, checking the student forum I was part of was of paramount importance - every post was so fascinating, every response so important!

    Well, guess what, the day after my exams? I had ZERO interest in checking that forum. Lesson: you only want it because you'd really rather be doing something else.

    In your case, since you do genuinely like creative writing, the temptation is all the greater. Considering creative writing assignments really are part of your degree, you could always use the excuse that you *are* working. That's what I did too when I didn't want to work on my Chemistry and instead devoted all my attention to my Art A-Level. My art coursework needed to be done too, after all. Never mind that I already had enough for my art projects and my chemistry was failing lol.

    Knuckle down and do some work on your other classes, but no one can make you. Alternatively you might ask yourself, why are you taking those other classes? Can you swap them for something you enjoyed more? (I'm not from the US so I have no idea how it works there)
     
  4. We Are Cartographers
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    We Are Cartographers Active Member

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    Last edited: Aug 8, 2014
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  5. Lemex
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    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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    This.

    If you have work, as an undergrad, you should be able to do it. So do it. Even if you spend half an hour working on your pet project and an hour on your university work, you have to do the university work. It's why you are there in the first place - or should be anyway. The worst thing in the world is an undergrad who doesn't do the work he's set, because compared to the MA, the BA is not hard at all.
     
  6. Linnea
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    Linnea New Member

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    Thanks so much for the advice. I really just need to buckle down and work harder. Also, thanks for the welcome! Belfast is an awesome place. Northern Ireland is one of my favorite places in the world (in my very limited experience).
     
  7. Linnea
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    Linnea New Member

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    I probably don't need to provide this detail, but I will anyway:

    I think I'm doing fine in school currently (about a B average in classes outside my major and an AB average within my major), but this isn't really good enough to get into grad school. I do all of my work, and I put a good amount of effort into it. I actually did end up working on my project for Romantic Autobiographies as I had intended to, but sleep was sacrificed. It's just really hard for me to stop myself from writing when I feel inspired to. I'm going to school for Creative Writing, so I just feel entitled to it I guess. Everything else just feels like a waste of time, even though I know it's not.

    I guess maybe I should reconsider grad school.

    Also, to answer the question of why I'm taking some classes that I don't like: Requirement for graduation. I need to take a Quantitative Research class to fulfill my Quantitative requirement.
     
  8. We Are Cartographers
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    We Are Cartographers Active Member

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    Last edited: Aug 8, 2014

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