5 Struggles You Know If You're A Writer

5 Struggles You Know If You're A Writer

Writing is hard.

As a creative writing major, I find myself spending a large chunk of my free time writing for one reason or another. This probably doesn't come out as a surprise. That being said, there are lots of things that get in the way of a lot of my writing (outside of required assignments) from being completed. I feel like lots of these distractions are universal enough to make a relatable list.

1. Writer's Block

First, I'll start with the obvious one. No matter how much you want to write, or how much you try to write, you can't seem to get anything with substance on the page. Any ideas you have, if you're able to create one, falls flat. Writer's Block is a vicious cycle that can be never ending.

2. Procrastination

Yeah, this one is a very real writer struggle. There are times I have a great idea for writing, but then I put it off. Whether it's for my own personal work, or for a class, I usually find myself cramming large projects into smaller time spans than I should. It's possible this tendency stems from not wanting to write something until the time feels right, but it's still procrastination.

3. A Busy Schedule

Often times I find myself putting off personal projects due to work and school. A lot of this involves me writing papers and stories for school instead. There's also the time I spend doing other things that don't involve writing, such as going to work or spending time with friends and family. I know, excuses, excuses.

4. The Internet

This distraction is one of the key distractions in my life. I use my laptop for most of my writing, but with that comes the responsibility of focusing. It's way too easy to open up the internet and watch videos on YouTube or goof around on Twitter/Facebook. It's hard to push time-wasters such as these aside.

5. Editing

When it comes to my personal writing, one of the things that keep me from doing more writing is editing. It can be hard to revisit something after it's already down on the page, especially if you're already experiencing the other writing struggles listed above. Then due to this, there's only so much you can do to continue working on a bigger project without editing the parts you've already written. I find that once I finally sit down and force myself to do some work it's a lot easier to keep going.

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Finals Week As Told By Schmidt

Schmidt Happens

Finals week is finally upon us. The time every college student has dreaded all semester and there is no avoiding it. Let the stress, tears, and sleepless nights commence. Here's Finals Week as Told by Schmidt.

1. When you walk into the library and see that there are no more spots available because every freshman decided to start using the library now.

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2. You run into someone from your class and they ask you how prepared you are for the final.

3. Your first meltdown begins...

4. And then you get a call from your parents asking you why you've been so on edge lately

5. When you're three coffees deep at 2AM and believe everything will be okay even though you still haven't studied.

6. The day has arrived and it's time to take your first final so you give yourself a quick pep talk.

7. When you are the first one to finish the final early because you didn't study.

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8. Trying to pack while studying.

9. And then you start wishing you didn't wait until the last minute to pack because now there is no way your stuff will fit into your car.

10. When you get your first grade back.

11. And you have to tell your parents how you did in the class.

12. When all of your roommates are done with their finals and you still have one left.

13. But then your time has finally come and you have finished your last final as well.

14. And you realize you have survived yet another hell week.

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Why Writing Is Still Important

I don't need to create a New York Times Bestseller.

I came to college as an English major. I did a really bad job of exploring colleges, and I really tried to avoid the topics at all costs. I didn’t want to think about leaving high school and all the people I had grown up with. I didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life, so I picked something I liked and was good at: English.

Little to my knowledge, my College Composition I class was taught by a Writing Arts grad student. On the first day of class, we went through the usual icebreakers, and it wasn’t until he told us about himself that I realized Writing Arts was a thing. I didn’t even know Rowan offered it.

He told us that he was working on a novel, and he taught this class as part of the program. I don’t know, I could have those details wrong. After he mentioned writing a novel, my world sort of stopped. I never considered being a writer until that point.

I talked to advisors, and within two days, I was a Writing Arts major. But I know that it’s a major that produces funny looks because college is about getting educated and a degree so that you can get a stable job as an adult.

Life as a writer is never guaranteed. I’ll never have a stable job or income, but I’m okay with that.

I don’t care if I never have a New York Times Bestseller. I don’t want to be a writer to make a shitload of money. I want to be a writer to inspire readers. The greatest thing an author, of any kind, can do is elicit emotion in readers.

I want to make readers hate characters and fall in love with others. I want readers to make up their own stories based on my characters because they can’t help but imagine them in a hundred different situations.

I have a bookshelf that is filled edge to edge of stories that have made me cry, cheer, and throw a book across the room. I’ve had to take a break from reading just to digest the story. I’ve stayed up in the middle of the night because it’s only 50 pages until the ending.

The emotion I feel from reading is enough to motivate me to create something just as special. If I never get published? Fine. That doesn’t mean I can’t share these stories. If I pull just one person into the world of these fictitious characters, that’s enough for me.

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