Ever since coming to university, I've found that I've been swamped with reading essays/books, and writing essays. I was wondering what you guys think in terms of how this will augment or lower the quality of creative writing. I still try to read literature, and still aim for a thousand words of creative writing a day, but it's hard given the sudden lack of free time I now have. Do you think reading and writing essays academically is still flexing writing muscles nonetheless, or do you think that the shift of focus from literature, and its plots, characters, motifs, symbolism, etc. to essays, which concentrate on clarity and proving an argument, will cause the creativity/ability to write dialogue well/develop characters to stagnate?