The Fate of “Writing Magic” As A Lit Major

Writing Magic: The feeling I have when I’m writing and enjoying the process. This feeling can come even while I struggle, or when I’m frustrated at the inability to find the correct word, or even while reading material someone else wrote.

When I began my BA nearly four years ago, I didn’t go into it believing I would come out smarter. Perhaps that mindset is what lead me to losing the Writing Magic as I progressed further in school.

My degree has three core creative writing workshop courses, but these didn’t knock out the Magic.

Studying classical literature–from Shakespeare to Keats to contemporary Canadian novels–made me feel like a fake. There was no way I could consider myself a True Writer while these figures towered over me from beyond the grave and book awards ceremonies in Toronto and Vancouver. What was the point? I would never be as good as them.

Through the numerous short stories, poems, and novels I read for classes, I figured out how to analyse writing quickly. I wrote essays. Some of them took days and multiple drafts, and with nervous fingers I would present them to my professor or place them on the desk at the front of the room. Others were lightning-quick, hastily-formed essays constrained to 90-minute or 3-hour blocks of time for an exam, and I would lightly pencil in my thoughts in the margins so I could have structure, ultimately erasing these crude half phrases.

Dare I say it, I learned how to write a mean essay analysing a single point in a piece of writing. I’m not the best, but better when compared to my failures in first year (where I failed a course called “Writing About Literature” due to 1. my incompetence; and 2. my mental health). Somewhere along the way, a light went off; or, more realistically, a certain professor changed the way I looked at literature analysis and helped me figure out how to write a fucking university-level thesis.

So what happened to my love of reading fiction? fantasy? YA novels?

And my love of writing fiction?

Those loves died somewhere. I became a cold cut with no appetite for aesthetics. Sterile. Literature became a thing to criticise, rather than savour and create.

I want to find the Magic again.

As part of my goals for this year, I’ve resolved to wake up early and write. I haven’t specified what I’ll write–on Day 1, I wrote the bulk of this blog post–but I determined that I will write. I have also determined to read daily outside of school. I’ve been working my way through The Chronicles of Narnia again because they seem to kindle some small, precious glow that might be some of the leftover Magic.

No more sitting around lamenting I Don’t Have Time Or Energy Because I Read And Write So Much For School. I’m an adult and I have goals. I can’t possibly take myself seriously if I don’t put in as much effort as possible to achieve those goals. Perhaps that’s the difference between shyly saying, “I’m a writer,” and confidently saying, “I’m a writer.”

I hope that, somewhere in the pre-dawn scribbling and typing, and the frantic nightly page-turning, I can find the Magic again. That excitement; that rush of endorphins; that minuscule, encouraging spark–they still exist. Matter does not disappear; it merely transforms and moves. I will read and write until I come across those sparks of Magic again.

I hope I find something. Anything.

The Fate of "Writing Magic" As A Lit Major--Blog post on what happened when I went to study literature as a creative writer.

2016 Goals

As is custom at the start of January, I made goals for this year. They are similar to New Year’s Resolutions, but more specific and–dare I say it–loftier than a common resolution of “Be healthy” or “Be happy/happier.”

I believe in tangibility. I enjoy things that can exist in physical form, rather than things that exist solely in abstract, ethereal, and overwhelming headspaces. My goals for 2016 focus on the achievable; on things that can have progress; on small actions I can take to obtain a larger goal.

Baby steps.

If I work toward these goals and have successes along the way, I will find success elsewhere down the road. If I practice (writing, designing, self-love, healthy habits, etc.), then I will improve. Even if I don’t meet my end goal, I will at least better myself by trying.

2016 Goals:

  • Graduate from the University of Windsor.
  • Maintain a 75% average for my final two semesters.
  • Finish a novel manuscript for submission.
  • Have a poem published in a literary magazine.
  • Blog consistently within a routine.
  • Design a day planner.
  • Open an Etsy shop for digital art prints.
  • Tend to mental health (depression, anxiety, eating disorder, and whatever else pops up).
  • Here comes the cliché: Lose 25 pounds of fat.

Some of these goals are going to be more difficult (publish a poem), while other goals I’m 90% sure I will achieve (graduating university).

But it isn’t the end of the world if I don’t reach any of these goals.

What is one goal you’d like to accomplish in 2016?

2016 Goals--My 9 goals, or resolutions, for 2016, raging from health to writing to business!

An Introduction

Here are some facts about me. Some will be more insightful than others, but all reveal something about me:

  • I’d be okay with consuming all my meals if they’ve been put into a blender. Saves me from flossing, right?
  • I enjoy dental hygiene, which includes flossing, so that’s why I’d only be “okay” surviving on smoothie’d food.
  • I’ll surprise you with my fashion knowledge. My mother has seamstress skills and in my youth I watched an exhausting amount of fashion TV shows.
  • My mother was emotionally abusive. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ I just want her to be happy and let me live the rest of my life.
  • I cry easily at beautiful things, like animation, music, acting, writing, and nature. God, nature…
  • I don’t ascribe to a religion or believe in a formed version of “God,” but will respect religious beliefs as long as they aren’t preached to me or used as a method for people to be bigots.
  • I’m a writer. Poetry comes most easily to me, I study contemporary and classic literature at the University of Windsor (also: Spanish language and general linguistics because #nerd), but my heart lies with high fantasy novels.
  • I can’t eat more than, like, a cup of shellfish without getting disgusting digestive problems, which is a tragedy because I love shrimp and scallops and lobster and crab.
  • Self-diagnosed eating disorder and mild anxiety. Doctor-diagnosed and untreated depression (because I’m arrogant as fuck and have been dismantling my resistance to assistance).
  • Sometimes I’m really mean, but sometimes people are really rude. They balance each other out.

It’s nice to meet you. I’ll be blogging twice a week, covering topics about my life, maybe throwing in some recipes, some tips about university life, and a whole slew of writer’s whining and winning to make things interesting.