I think I’m suffering from some serious withdrawals from writing lately. I’m edgy, my sleeping patterns are out of whack, and I seem to be holding conversations with the various voices in my head more often than usual. It feels like forever since I have put pen to paper and crafted something imaginative to help quell my unrelenting impulses to create. But for once my lack of writing, and subsequent feelings of edginess aren’t coming from writers block; rather this is the end result of the fucking university degree I struggle so valiantly to complete.
Studying a degree in creative writing should mean that I spend the vast majority of my university life creating whimsical metaphors for the human existence, or reading through paperback after paperback produced by authors like F. Scott Fitzgerald, Orson Wells and so on. But instead I’ve spent the better part of the last two weeks reading through lecture notes on theories by Marx, Freud, Nietzsche, and fucking Moretti in preparation for an upcoming exam. It’s been a gruelling endeavour. Until now I’ve actually enjoyed my studies. But this… This has been torture.
So what have I learned through all this reading? What have I managed to retain from constantly devoting my time to such pieces? Well…. I’ve retained next to nothing. All I can tell you about the aforementioned names is that I now despise each and every one of them with a passion that would lend brilliantly to any manuscript. But despite my new found loathing of literary theory, I have managed to learn two things.
The first is that out of all of my time devoted to understanding the works of Marx I have managed to find just one single snippet of his writings enjoyable. It’s something that I found quite inspiring, and after trawling through so much work on literary criticism and critical theory, unearthing this diamond in the rough that has made the experience worthwhile. The second thing I’ve learned however has been more of a self-realisation and awakening; a buy-product of time spent toiling away at my studies. I’ve learned that I could not care less about the critical theory behind what, and why I write. All I know is that I love to do so and that is all that will ever matter to me.
The edginess? The lack of sleep? Those are the foreshadowing’s that I’m operating under the charms of that slut called addiction. When I don’t find the time to write I become like a junkie searching desperately for his next fix. I grow irritable and the spill over of my frustrations becomes evident in other aspects of my life. I become short with my peers and can seem disinterested in the world around me as I withdraw into my own imagination. As I write this I’m staring down the barrel of my last week of study for this university semester. I have nine days until my final assessment for the study period will be submitted and I can dive back into the writing that fuels me, rather than the drab critical theory laden bullshit I produce to pass assessments. I feel like a child waiting for Christmas morning, when the wait of advent is over and the presents finally arrive. My present will be the ability to return to writing what I want to again, but with each passing day the agonising wait for this semester to end seems to drag on forever. I’m growing edgier and more unstable with every passing moment; all I want is to throw caution to the wind and start producing something creative again.
I’m desperately waiting to slip back into my manuscripts and continue the development of characters I’ve come to hold very close to my heart. But in the meantime I just have to push through and finish out this university semester and take solace in the fact that I have managed to find that little quote from Marx that makes it all worthwhile. So in closing today, I’d like to leave you all with that quote. Read it, and interpret it as you see fit. Maybe you will, like me, see the beauty in Marx’s words. Or maybe you’ll gain absolutely nothing from it. Regardless, if it wasn’t for this single phrase, I don’t think I would have been able to survive the hellacious thirteen weeks that has been this semester.
As always, I promise to be in touch soon.
“The philosophers have only interpreted the world in various ways; the point however is to change it.” – Karl Marx.