Should I Do Creative Writing in College?

Power of Words
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I understand that writing is a natural for a lot of us. We get an idea, we scribble it in our journals, and voila! We have masterpieces in the making.

But school—that’s a whole different story. I’ve taken creative classes in college, but the creative writing I’m talking about is the extracurricular pieces I hope to publish outside college. These are the types that I deliberately avoid unless I have a spur-of-the-moment urge to jot them down. I do not want my creative writing to interfere with my school, but in those moments when I get an idea I can’t ignore, I feel compelled to write them down.

But sometimes I feel guilty—after settling down to four papers and literary analyses, I almost feel that my school is more important than my creative writing. But isn’t this what I want to do later on? Don’t I want to spend the time doing my creative work? Of course! But not just yet.

Sometimes, I’ll go on a walk and spend thirty minutes just writing what I see—the Lake Johanna with leaves tumbling in golden colors, the lake rippling under the wind’s breath, or the students—I will spend eternity if I have to getting the right moments down. But then my editorial side checks me and reminds me that I have papers due that week.

So here’s my resolution: In the moments of inspiration, jot them down, whether quickly or slowly, do whatever it takes to capture those moments and allow yourself time to fulfill your obligations. But if you’re resting on a Sunday or quiet day, do what you want. Go on a walk. Drink some coffee. Chat with a friend. Read a non-textbook. Whatever you do, do it with the utmost conviction that you’re in the right spot doing the right thing.

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9 thoughts on “Should I Do Creative Writing in College?

  1. I love this! And I wholeheartedly agree! It’s important to find a balance – one that allows for both the completion of schoolwork (obligations) and things meant for just simply pleasure. Lovely! 🙂 I enjoyed this post!

  2. I love creative writing and I think that it is something all writers should do. Otherwise we get very stuck in our technicalities and grammatical lives that we forget to just let it flow out of us, not worrying about being right or wrong or making mistakes. These times are the ones where I get my best writing actually.

  3. I love this! The conviction to be working on homework all the time is tough on creativity and bursts of inspiration, but I liked your tips about taking the small moments to express yourself creatively. Then if you are diligent with your school work you may find some free time and instead of watching Netflix or YouTube you can write what you are really passionate about. I will be keeping these tips in mind especially going into the busy finals season! 🙂

  4. Reading this was such a reality for me. I love writing for fun and creatively, but I’m more often just writing for school (not that it can’t be fun). Balance is good and realizing that it is an important thing to maintain will make you feel better in the long run.

  5. This is so true for many of us who feel restricted by the obligation of turning something in for a grade. You bring a great point in being intentional about allowing those creative juices to flow despite the rigid task at hand inside the classroom.

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