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unlearning how to write

It’s only been three months since I graduated, but it already feels like a million years. My life’s now a spinning cycle of retail work and internship hours and awkward bus rides with an old dude two seats down who won’t stop staring. Fun stuff. Hard to believe a few weeks ago my life consisted of sorority events and essays I was definitely procrastinating on. But even though I suffering from senioritis and thought I’d thrown all my cares out the window…I think school affected me more in the long run than I was expecting.

Which sounds totally stupid off the bat. Of course five years of college affects you! I learned so much from higher education and to say I’ve “changed” since freshmen year would be an understatement. But its one thing to have more knowledge and more skills after your degree. A thing you don’t expect?

Your creativity getting fucked with.

I assume most of you reading this post are bloggers yourselves, or at the very least are “creative” kinda people (be it writing, music, whatever). And if you’re a creative person, you know how deeply connected you are to that special side of yourself. Imagination is a crazy, personal, wonderful thing. …But professors aren’t always down with crazy and personal.

Following a syllabus. Sticking to outlines. Having the same 5 paragraph essay or Buzzfeed style listicle. I loved my college and learned a lot of great things from my classes, but after years of writing exactly what your teachers wanted, how do you remember what you want?

I knew all of this in theory. But it didn’t become obvious until I started writing this blog. Here I was, with no rubric to follow, and half the time I didn’t even know where to begin. It was a wild feeling since I’ve always loved expressing myself and literally got a concentration in creative writing. But almost felt uncomfortable to put something out there that wasn’t totally ~neatly organized~.

It was then I realized I had to unlearn how to write — which was a weird way of putting it, but true all the same. I had to strip away all the years of being told how to act, how to talk, how to be creative if I really wanted to get my own voice back. It’s been an awkward, uncomfortable process at times and I’m def still slowly changing. But if you aren’t being true to yourself, what’s the point of writing in the first place?

I’m hardly a blogging vet and I have only been doing this for a few months now, but I feel like the struggle with voice is something anyone can relate to. So don’t be afraid to change what you think you should write for what you want to write. And the more you get in touch with that original spark inside you, the easier it gets.

Practice makes perfect.

Sorry for the unedited rant this week, but this stuff was buzzing in my head and had to get it off my chest! If you’ve ever been in the same headspace, know you’re not alone. And if not, keep letting your brain do whatever hell it wants to do. Good on you. 👌🏻

 

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  • Kitty Banks

    I totally understand “writing what your tutors want you to write”. I had so many conversations with friends in my modules while we wrote essays about the type of thing certain tutors “liked” and tips on how to tailor our essays to their tastes. It was a good skill to have at the time but I really feel like it came at the cost of some of my originality and I’m determined to get that back with my blog!

    • Sinéad Schouten

      Exactly! I feel like in school you spend so much time “playing the game” that you can forget what got you into writing in the first place. That’s why I personally just try to have fun with my blog and not take it too seriously — I had plenty of seriousness back in college 😂