I just ‘outted’ myself to a friend and told her I have a sad, neglected blog about my writing. It is true, this blog is neglected. But as I read through my entries, I realize this blog has a few good posts, so maybe it’s not all that sad afterall.
I am my own worst enemy with my thoughts. My thoughts stop me from writing. My thoughts, when put down on paper (or the electronic equivalent), make me vulnerable. I should try to stop letting my thoughts prevent me from being creative.
My thoughts almost stopped me from getting the draft done of my thesis essay. I had to just force myself to not be paralyzed by self doubt. I can fix whatever my thesis supervisor says is wrong with my draft. What I would not have been able to fix, was not getting it done. So I did it.
Now, on to two months of revisions, and by sometime in April I should have a grade. I very much hope the grade is good, and I will finally get that elusive ‘piece of paper,’ otherwise known as Bachelor of Arts degree (with Honours).
I am really struggling with finding the motivation to work on my French course, required for my Bachelor of Arts Degree. And so I have avoided it instead, and have been overeating, and watching Netflix. All my creative projects have been put on hold so I can finish this degree, and yet I still find time to waste watching multiple seasons of various episodic crap. This is truly a challenge I’m being tested with, because having to complete a language credit by learning French is not what I enjoy doing. I am completing an English and Creative Writing Degree and I enjoy the challenge of English courses, and the artistic nature of Creative Writing courses. French, I don’t enjoy it. So this is it, I either want this degree bad enough to preserve with the French and finish it, or I don’t want it bad enough. Yes or no, plain and simple. I cannot rely on support from others in this endeavor. I have to find it within myself to get this done.
I know the piece of paper (the degree) “means nothing.” It does not have a practical application in my life at it stands at this time. However, I feel that it means something if I don’t finish it. All that matters is how I feel about completing it or not. Therefore, if I continue to avoid working on the French, and therefore fail my upcoming exams, it will be because I really didn’t want to finish the degree badly enough to do something I dislike, which is the French. If I buckle down and study everyday from now until February 13, then I guess that means I want to finish my degree badly enough to make myself study something I find less than enjoyable. The enjoyment will be in the completion.
Here I sit, a total of 126 credits to complete my honours degree, with just 12 credits to go. I wonder if everyone this close to completing their university degree, faces some of the same internal challenge questions? Why do I keep going? What am I trying to prove? I can see the finish line, but it is so far from where I started, I’m just not sure what crossing that line is going to mean for me.
In French verbs like acheter (to buy), amener (to bring), emmener (to take), the letter e which precedes the final consonant in the stem takes an accent grave (è) before a silent ending: J’achète, tu achètes, il achète, ils achètent, but nous achetons, vous achetez.
Why do I keep hitting myself over the head with a hammer? Because it feels so good when I stop. (I got that from Grey’s Anatomy, all ten season available now on Netflix for your viewing pleasure).
And I totally get it.
I came across an amazing quote the other day by Wendell Berry. It really sums up my summer. Another summer of being so busy, I don’t feel I’ve done anything. Of course, I have done a lot, but I haven’t done any creative writing, nor any work on a French course I need to complete for my degree. Well, school goes back next week, and as Wendell says:
“There are, it seems, two muses: the Muse of Inspiration, who gives us inarticulate visions and desires, and the Muse of Realization, who returns again and again to say “It is yet more difficult than you thought.” This is the muse of form. It may be then that form serves us best when it works as an obstruction, to baffle us and deflect our intended course. It may be that when we no longer know what to do, we have come to our real work and when we no longer know which way to go, we have begun our real journey. The mind that is not baffled is not employed. The impeded stream is the one that sings.”
Someone asked me the other day, “Hey, are you still writing?” This is how I answered.
Yes, I’m still writing, but not as much creative writing as I would like, just lots of essays. I’m still working on my B.A. (Hon.) in English at UBCO. I’m currently in an Indigenous Literature class, and I just finished a term of Shakespeare before Christmas.
However, I did recently enter two creative non-fiction pieces to the CBC Literary Awards, and a poem to a UBCO Anthology called ‘Common Ground.’
I guess I’m doing more creative writing than I think. 🙂
And I’m glad this blog is still here. I have a feeling I will be using it again eventually, and it’s nice to know it’s here in the mean time. 🙂
I love this quote by Rudyard Kipling — ‘I am, by calling, a dealer in words; and words are, of course, the most powerful drug used by mankind.’