Or the account of my decline into barbarism (and all of the lovely, mad people who helped me do it).

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

I No Longer Give a Fuck about an Oxford Comma

I'm seriously considering dropping my literature major. I no longer love reading, and it's a shame because Barnes & Noble used to be my haven. Now I buy books but never manage to read them. I recently wrote a note on Facebook entitled "On Literature" which outlines how I feel about studying literature. Basically, school really took the joy out of it. I wanted to be a creative writer because I love stories: fabricating them, sharing them, and hearing them. I love how Paradise Lost made me feel the first time I read it, how there's nothing better than enjoying a good novel past 3 AM, how satisfying it is to finish another book, shelf it, and choose another. But I haven't felt this way about reading for several months now.

I also miss writing. Since I finished my novel two years ago, I haven't been able to write another long fiction piece. My attention span is too short. I've written a few things in my writing workshops, and I'm proud of some of them. But when I write now, all I can think of is the criticism in the back of my head. What's the point in writing if I know it will never be good enough? Do I really have the courage or resilience to spend months- even years - on a project, only to be dissatisfied in the end? I miss writing and having fun with it. I still love creating characters and stories, but I cannot communicate them on a page. And isn't that what a writer does?

I'm still in love with the spirtual aspects of literature. I know how powerful words can be. I love that you can manipulate them to make someone cry or laugh or sigh. I love that, and I love experiencing those emotions when I read a good story.

Damn. I don't know what to do. In a perfect world, I would drop literature for International Studies, because after traveling to Italy I know that I want to continue studying French and foreign languages. However, it's too late now. I will never graduate on time if I switch. Besides, I'm almost done with literature so I should just finish it. After all, the classes honed my writing. Maybe this is just a phase. I hope it is.

1 comment:

  1. Girl, I too know this dilemma. I haven't written a song in two years because all I can do is criticize the lyrics, the melody, the overly simplified chords. All I can focus on is "What will the critics think?"
    It sucks.
    I too have thought, maybe I should just change my major, focus on something else, on photography or business perhaps... but I too am two years into this slave labor, and spending another year in Clarksville... well I just can't deem the switch worthy of that.
    I could transfer, but what about my scholarships?

    All this is to say...
    The best answer I have reached is to focus on the things I love, and accept that I have ABSOLUTELY no IDEA where they are going to take me in the future. Yet, at the same time, to keep my resolve to study my first love -music.

    However discouraging, I think you (and I for that matter) should stick with it. =) Right now, all the criticism, and the knowledge of how things should be "by the book" -those things are in our faces all of the time, because we're learning them. And because they are so prominent in our minds right now, they seriously hinder our creative nerve.
    Likewise, we are being taught all of these methods, techniques, rules, etc. by professors that we admire, and that we are dying to impress, and next to greats like Beethoven or Oscar Wilde, what on earth do we have to offer them?
    It's a lot of pressure for an expressive/creative mind to endure. It's exhausting really...
    I think the best thing is to stick with it. For example, I just started mandolin and guitar lessons, I have no idea what I'm going to do with those skills, seeing as how I haven't written anything in years, but maybe if I develop them now, I'll have them when the inspiration to write returns. That's just hopeful thinking, but what else can you do?
    Anyways, I'm sorry to go on forever, I hope I helped a little. I LOVE YOU!