As the semester reaches Peak Struggle, all college students begin to exhibit the symptoms. Snuffly noses, late nights in the library, a perpetual cup of coffee in hand, and a mile-long list of undone assignments to be completed before the next class. I get it, y’all; school can be tough.
And when you’re struggling beneath the weight of a heavy semester, it’s easy to let your creativity sit on the backburner. You tell yourself you’ll finish that story or art piece you’re working on soon, maybe by the time Thanksgiving break rolls around or over the holidays. But even when you’re super-busy and stretched thin from all of your studies, it sucks to force your passions to take a backseat.
Taking a creative writing class this semester has made me focus on my writing alongside my studies, instead of as an afterthought. I’m learning how to power through writer’s block, as well as how to recognize when to leave a piece alone if I’m not in the right headspace to work on it. Most importantly, I’m learning how to “write in the cracks.”
Completing my assignments on time means writing whenever I have a moment to spare - an hour break between classes, over a meal in the dinning hall, or late at night right before bed. I’m learning, though, that I do some of my best work during those times. Writing in short bursts allows me to fully concentrate on my work, whereas in marathon writing session where my attention may wander.
I challenge you as writers, then, to step outside your comfort zone, buckle down, and try to accomplish some new creative work during those weird “cracks” of free time in your day. And who knows? That novel you pen over a dull train ride might just be the next bestseller!