why I rarely “creative write”

I must admit, when I hear someone is an English major, I always feel like they are automatically my kindred spirit. But then they start talking about their fiction writing class. And a little judgmental voice in my head goes off “Oh, you’re English-Creative Writing…”

I kind of hate this. I know creative writing majors are important. If people who were creative writers didn’t exist, I would be out of look my preferred field. I also know that creative writing is a lot of work, and there is no reason to scorn them. Yet I do.

Theories abound to why–probably because of how much I hate creative writing myself, at least fiction and poetry. I am on the staff of The Profile, Agnes’ newspaper, but I really like writing sports stories and of course I have this blog. But I don’t feel like that counts…really. I don’t know why I dislike it so much. I just don’t get what I am supposed to get out of writing fiction. Plus I usually know that my writing is super trite and cliche-filled.

I really would just rather spend my reading and dissecting and writing research papers.

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4 Comments

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4 responses to “why I rarely “creative write”

  1. elaine

    Although you are not alone in your feelings, you might be on the right side of the fence to feel a little judgmental, what with creative writing being so young in being called a discipline and actually being taught.
    Last year’s senior English seminar had both literature and creative majors in the class. Actually this past fall was the first time they split (since the creative writing class was actually large enough). At first I was sad to here I wouldn’t have a class with all my English Lit. buddies, but it became clear that they were really different classes where different approaches were appropriate. While critical essays require more research and rewriting, development of a creative piece more often takes reworking, and just plan practice.
    Of course, although I recognize that I am highly biased, I would suggest you try not to judge a discipline based off of the effort a given class may seem to require, but rather on the skill and beauty of the outcome of such work.
    However, you have to admit: you’re “creatively writing” right now.

    • I completely understand what you’re saying Elaine. I do have so many friends who are Creative Writing majors. I am just completely biased on which is more fun.

  2. I must concur with Elaine: you are writing creatively with the newspaper and blogging. 😉

    Interesting to say that you “judge” Creative Writing majors. While I can understand not liking writing fiction or poetry, I am curious about why you “scorn” other creative writers. O.o

    However, I think, for me, what I get out of writing fiction and poetry in addition to my journaling/blogging/journalism/research and analytical papers is the ability to express the things I cannot express. I think it was Norman Mailer who wrote thousands a word a day to “get all the bad writing out.” Even if my writing is bad and cliche-ridden, I feel like my fiction and poetry say things I cannot say clearly or out loud. Not to mention, my imagination needs an outlet, and in a fictional universe, logic can function differently. What drives me most, though, is the need to create, and fiction and poetry, to me, is all about possibility. 😀

  3. Katie

    I had a really great talk with Trousy about this when I was deciding whether to declare lit or CW. She said “Creative writing classes are great, I teach them, but there is a reason why it is called the English Literature/Creative Writing major.” I think Agnes in particular really tries to give us a balance, you can’t write good literature if you don’t know what good literature is and what it is comprised of. So I think it’s a good thing we creative writers have to take almost as many lit courses as our lit pals, and that creative writing courses in general count towards both majors. Makes it easy to dabble and switch 😀

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