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What about creative writing?

So someone left me an interesting question in my question box. (Yes, I'm surprised there are still people who bother asking! Haha.)

how is life as a creative writing major? is it difficult? do you feel like giving up or shifting? AT ALL????

It's just very timely, I guess because my blockmates and I have been discussing this for the last few days. We're incoming juniors, and we're almost at that make-or-break stage in our college lives already. There's practically no turning back, and yet it's inevitable to feel doubtful about the career path we're (about to be) taking, especially since it's often deemed as a unprofitable choice. Nobody really takes it seriously, I suppose. So yes, it can get frustrating.

First let me give you a background story: In 2008, the CW freshman block only had 6 students. That was me, Andee, Jamie, Rose, Cathy, and Jonika. Cathy shifted out, Rose took an LOA and is also shifting out, Jonika dropped out of school -- which leaves only the Three Musketeers aka The Plastics (see previous post) aka Karla-Andee-Jamie. It was wearisome to see the already small block slowly diminishing, but it was understandable. We made "tampo" to those who left, but we never really forced them to stay. After all, if that was what they wanted, why stop them? They have their reasons.

As for me, CW is actually my pre-law course. It's a stepping stone for my actual dream, which is to become a lawyer. But I also love to write, and read. Literature and English have always been my strengths so it wasn't such a bad idea. Anyway, I felt like I had enough passion for this course to pursue it, so I didn't find any reason to shift at all.

Most people will claim that CW is a lame and effortless course compared to, say, engineering or chemistry. But what people don't realize is that it's a course that depends more on talent and skill rather than book-smarts. You have to be really good at it to survive, and most of all you have to be passionate about it. I know that goes for all the other courses too but ours is fueled by nothing but that. Unlike math or physics that you can study with books and problem sets, you cannot actually study how to write. Sure, we are given lots of readings, and we are taught techniques, but there is no one way of doing it. You have to find your way, then let it do the working for you.

This is where it gets frustrating. Because I think none of us in the block were really writers per se, as in people who walk around seeing poetry in nature, and finding inspiration in almost anything. We like writing, and we're all undeniably bookworms, but I don't think any of us were that dedicated. We weren't really artists.

It can get discouraging to be reading about Brechtian didactics on plays or coming up with short stories and villanelles when you really don't have the innate desire for it. Creative Writing is a pretty tedious course. We have an insane amount of readings that you cannot afford to not read. We need an indefinite time to create prose and poetry. And really, we have to have passion for it. But sometimes, that passion dries up. And when that happens, we're screwed. We don't always feel like reading or writing, but we have to. Because that's what our course is about.

So to answer your question: yes, it is difficult. It's underrated. It's easy to want to give up. I dare whoever wants to belittle our course to discuss the different elements of plays and their modern/postmodernist approaches, or to defend Walter Pater's "Art for art's sake" stand. Or even just to come up with a 10-page critical analysis of an 18th century poem.

That's why I cannot blame my (remaining) blockmates for wanting to leave. I understand the pain, the frustration, the anxiety. What is the point in all of this anyway? It's not any easier but unlike the other courses, it's more difficult to see the practical purpose of this career. I honestly told them that even if it will sadden me a bit, I will support their decision 100% should they decide to shift. Because I know it's getting hard for them, and their hearts lie somewhere else.

But what about me? Despite the apparent struggles, have I ever considered shifting? No. Honestly, I doubt my writing capabilities. I don't think I am a good writer. Okay, maybe I know more words and commit lesser errors than some people, but I don't see myself as a real, actual artist. But I don't want to shift. The most obvious reason is because I'm already two years down, and only two more to go. I'm a half-baked CW student with no other subjects left to take but literature and CW majors. How am I going to shift? And where? I have nowhere to go. Sure, I may have really enjoyed philosophy class, or that sometimes I still wonder what it would be like if I pursued my mom's dream for me which was Accountancy, but it's all too late. And besides, I don't think I can handle any more debits and bank statements.

But more importantly, I think deep down in me, I know I can finish this course. I should finish this course. Not because I'm an awesome writer, or an extremely intelligent student, but because I know I like it enough to work hard on it. There was a reason why I chose this course and maybe all I have to do is keep finding that reason when I feel like giving up. I may not feel like I'm good at it, but I know I can make it through. I know it's difficult, but no matter what course I may be in, it will be difficult. Everything will be difficult. It all just boils down to how determined you are. And what your goal is. I'm going to keep myself afloat despite everything else that seems to drown me because I told myself when I started college that I'm going to finish this, so I will. Whatever it takes. Because this is what I have to do to get to what I really want, which is law school. I can't afford to mess it up. So I'm gonna have to suck it all up, work my ass off, and do my best.

I'm going to embrace being a writer, because I have to. Even if the only consistent "creative non-fiction" I do right now is blogging. Haha. :))

P.S. I just remembered I still have a final paper to submit for CL114. WHAT THE. So much for motivating myself. Tamad pa din ako T_T Hahaha. No waaait. Go fight, Bombastarrrr!