So when you begin University, you would be excited, nervous, scared and maybe a little sick when arriving on your first day. Expecting to meet new people, create your own network of friends, and learn to become a professional in your field. Sounds like a dream, right?
For some, yes. Many can swim like a fish in water when it comes to uni life, but not so much for others.
I fall into the category that learns by doing, not watching. Signing up to a writing a degree, with the experience I have gained by teaching myself and just through the process of writing, I thought it would be easy to go into class and learn something I don't already know about.
Uni is mostly for those who can learn by watching, very few hands-on classes, and when you are given the work, you have to be the one motivated. Anyone who has studied or is currently in Uni, understands that.
For me, I'm going to write why I pulled out halfway through and not bother continuing with Creative Writing in Uni. Sure the Pandemic didn't help, and we all went to online learning. I did love being at home, but there were some things that only a classroom can do. What my problems were, was not the online learning but the class and content itself.
When it came to own prepared and written works, I dreaded reading it out to most, I get nervous, I jumble my own words and insert words cause my brain turned into mush at that point. Now it's not that I can't stand constructive criticism I believe there is always a time and place for it. Which lead me to hate creative writing at University.
Whether it was the class itself or just the course I was in, I felt the other students tear each other apart and not build each other up and if anything most were snobbish, except a small group. They honed in the negatives more than they did with the positives, they criticised more than they constructed. In particular, one student did grind my gears, always had an opinion on someone's work, never really giving any positive notes at the end. I was apprehensive for a fellow classmate, considering their first draft was good, I didn't want them to feel crushed and give up writing.
I'm the type of learner who learns better by doing things than reading. Give me an example to construct a scene better and ask to practice in my own words, you're going to get better results out of me.
One other thing that stood out the most is one particular teacher. The whole class looked at the story and focused on how it was written, improved, and fitted the genre. Their defence to hating a story and having trouble reading it is because they are a feminist . . . Now correct if I am wrong, considering I am not a professional editor myself. Still, I believe that when it comes to looking at the bones of the writing shouldn't there be non biased view when correcting mistakes or improving a writer's work. That comment didn't sit well with me...
Could I be too soft or sensitive when coming across this? Probably, I know that I am not good with criticism. If I ask for criticism, I will take it, if I don't, I'm gonna hate your guts, that much is true. But I never believed I was the most excellent writer in the world either. I knew I still have much to learn, and I knew deep down Uni wasn't going to be the place to find it.
But overall, it killed my love for writing. I had no joy, I didn't feel inspired, I felt hollow, bored and well annoyed. Felt like I was forced to be moulded in a certain way that I am not. Felt like what I was doing is wrong . . . Is it the proper way to write? Probably, but I was not one to conform to traditional practices. To me its an art form, subjective and different to anyone who partakes in writing. Yes, some rules apply to all writing, and some can be bent and broken. Our Language keeps evolving, changing, and so has written. A class wasn't going to cut it, and I knew I had to learn differently elsewhere.
I had taught myself, watched YouTube videos, looked at examples and most of all, I kept going, I just kept writing. I believe we will always get better at our own craft, the more we keep going, the better we get.
So what is the purpose of this post?
Well, I hope fellow writers come across and realise there is more than one way to learn writing, hoping they feel inspired themselves to keep going and consider if Uni or College is right for them when pursuing their passions. I learnt the hard way but realised it quickly that Uni isn't for me, but I'm not going to stop writing. I enjoy creating these little words and sharing them with my readers, I love hearing their comments, their favourite parts, favourite characters, it's what keeps me going.
Until Next time