All Posts / Thoughts

Writing in University

20190302_170130_0000.pngAs you can probably tell from the long spaces between posts, our lives have been pretty busy. I recently moved to university which is probably the best thing I’ve ever done.

It’s nothing personal that I’ve not been writing here, I’ve hardly done any creative writing or reading since moving to university because life has given me so many other things to be focused on. Right now, that is a tonne of deadlines I haven’t got round to yet.

Procrastinating essays still makes me most inspired to write so I’ve suddenly done quite a lot, including rewriting my ideas yet again. And my writing style has really changed. The characters I’m making have much stronger voices than before and feel much more complex to me. In my hometown I always felt very limited and since I’ve moved I’ve had to talk to new or nearly-new people every single day. Maybe we’re connected by a class or two, but otherwise they can be any age or year group or from any culture. University isn’t necessary for new meeting people, of course, but it’s definitely made me better at getting to know people quickly based on how they express themselves.

I love the newness. Change feels scary at first but I’m kind of hooked on it now. Same with people. I’ve always been more on the introverted side and still am but that doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy meeting people and listening to how they see the world. If I can connect that to their culture or background, I can then join the dots and see how what is influencing their opinions. In my writing, this has made my characters more varied, with new opinions, confidence and stronger beliefs, which in my experience people are way more willing to talk about at university.

To me, my stories also feel more immediate. I may be only writing in past tense for the time being but I feel like more energy is going into my writing than before. It seems I’ve finally filled up my life enough that I feel excited to do a lot of writing, because I don’t know when I’ll next get the chance to, and my writing is reflecting that attitude. My hometown really didn’t have much to get me that excited about and I got so used to procrastinating it was all I’d do, even with things I genuinely wanted to do. I think making my characters more voicy is also making my writing feel more active. My writing is less about world building or showing a pretty plot and more about how hard my characters are reacting to it or to each other.

New experiences definitely seem to have made my writing more people-focused and more exciting to read. If you feel stuck with either of those things, finding a way to meet new people could be really helpful. Doing something you haven’t done before is also a good idea. For me, feeling bored is the least inspiring thing I’ve done and I value my own writing so much more now that I have to set aside a special time to do it, since I can no longer do it any time I want.

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