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Home » NaNoWriMo » Academic and Creative Writing: Can’t I do both?

Academic and Creative Writing: Can’t I do both?

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April 2017

April Session


There are many struggles in life, but for me, sometimes it's finding the words to place onto the page. Writing is away to create new worlds, explore, and experience so many different emotions. Only by reading do we learn not only to write but certain stories will change us through out our lives.

*Image above: The Pleiades
*Header Image found from The Matrix of Gallifrey FB Page

Yes, I know. I haven’t written a blog post in a while. I do have a good excuse, grad school. It’s been difficult to try to do everything that is required, plus make time for my family and friends. Some thing that I don’t have trouble making time for is going to church on Sundays, and I love singing in the choir at Mass. Anyways, it’s not just scheduling my life, but also it’s been difficult to get back into writing academically. I took a year and half in between my undergrad and grad school. So it’s wasn’t too long, plus it was a nice break (and self-educational as well). So it seems like it’s about adjusting to every thing that comes with grad school. I’m starting to feel a bit better about it all since I learned recently that I got an “A” on a journal assignment. I still need to continue to work hard, do my best, and schedule everything. Yet there is something about knowing you did well, that brings your hopes up. It’s possible. Kind of like when I finished writing my novella in April, through Camp NaNoWriMo (though I still need to edit it). I realized that it was possible for me to write 30,000 words in a month.

It’s October, so if you’re a writer you may realize what is coming up next month… (besides the 50th Anniversary of Doctor Who, and Thanksgiving), National Novel Writing Month 2013. There are already people preparing for this November’s writing session, and they will continue throughout this month. I’ve noticed online, even locally, that people are already excited for NaNoWriMo. All I can think about is how much I want to write creatively, as well as do well with my classes. I asked the official NaNoWriMo twitter account if it was even possible to participate in NaNoWriMo, while also going to grad school. They gave me a response, and I noticed after that there were several others that had, and/or planning to do the exact same thing that I thought was impossible. How could it be possible to write academically for your classes, do well, and still have time to write creatively? People were suggesting scheduling time to write early in the morning or whenever possible, a little bit each day and more on weekends, or several hours one day a week. Some times it sounds like it could be do-able, and then other times, when I wonder if I can even get everything done for school. Even my friend Gloria says, I could wait and try another year, and just focus on my classes, especially since South Texas Scribes, the writing group, was year around. Yes, I want to focus on my classes, but I still want to work on my creative writing. It’s not so I can get published, but just to keep up the skill and improve. Most of all, because I really do enjoy writing stories, though they can be difficult. So I thought, maybe not focus on getting the 50,000 words that Wrimos focus on in November, but just try to make time to write creatively, either a poem, short story, or longer, during that month. I just want to make sure I make time to write creatively as much as I able to (as well as writing blog posts), between all the school stuff and other parts of life. My friend Liz mentioned to me that I need to make some time in between school stuff, to take a break so I don’t get too overwhelmed. She’s not the only one that has mentioned that. By the way, she posted a new chapter of her novel, Ascendancy, you can read it here.

I do want to mention, even though I am stressed out about the workload, I am enjoying my classes and even excited about working on a research project (it’s a paper discussing Harry Potter and Merlin, the legendary character as well as the one from the BBC show). Luckily I can work on it through out this semester. It’s kind of obvious why I would be excited about that project. I strongly believe that if you enjoy a  topic, you’re more likely to enjoy learning more about it, and be able to apply it. It’s going to be difficult, but I know that if I do my best, I’ll get through it.

So, what do you think? Is it possible to do academic and creative writing (plus blog posting)? If you do, what tips do you suggest? Or even possible sources that I can look towards for my research paper (well, it doesn’t hurt to ask)? I can always try and see how it goes. I do know that not everything goes as planned. At the end of it all, school is more important. Now I really should be getting back to my studies… though it was refreshing to write a blog post.

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10 Comments

  1. WendyStrain says:

    Writing for NaNo while attending grad school is difficult, but can be done, particularly if you don’t plan to hit the 50,000 word goal but just to write. Its really good practice for the ‘real world’ where you have to figure out how to juggle family, work, home, other activities like church, and somehow fit in your writing. In the end, it’s all about what’s most important to you.

  2. aspenlinmer says:

    Your research project sounds really interesting! (…”working on a research project (it’s a paper discussing Harry Potter and Merlin, the legendary character as well as the one from the BBC show).))

    Will you be posting it on your blog…I’d love to read about it as both HP and Merlin are fascinating subjects for me. 🙂

    ~Aspem

  3. caitlinm says:

    I really wish I had tried to tackle NaNo the past two years while I was earning my master’s degree! Instead, I focused on school and have lost what I feel as all of my comfort with creative writing. Now that I’m out of school, I have the “fiction writing bug” and I am struggling quite a bit to remember how to start, how to even think about, creating a fiction story. I’m very excited to participate in NaNo this year, even though it will still be hard as someone teaching five composition classes. I think it is a great idea to plan to do at least some creative writing during November, even if you don’t hit the 50,000 words!

    • Christina says:

      Thanks, Caitlinm! I’m sorry for my late reply. I’m so glad you’ll be doing NaNoWriMo this year, even if you’re busy. I think it’s better to have something, than nothing at all, especially when it comes to writing. You never know something might spark and cause you write more than you thought you could. I’m trying to be hopeful, and not let the stress and the overwelming feelings of Grad school get to me. I love studying literature, but I don’t like the stress.

  4. […] Academic and Creative Writing: Can’t I do both? (philosophybychristy.wordpress.com) […]

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