“Miaow! Lillie Almond, studying a Writing MA.” “Sorry, what was that?” This is the usual start of any conversation in which I introduce my current university course. Allow me to explain… By Lillie Almond
I realise it’s a Monday and that this means the start of the week… for most people. My course has an average of three contact hours a week, and that’s in terms one and two. Term three, I have zero contact hours, and just a whole lotta writing. So, depending on what I’ve scheduled in, I look at where I stand with this. I know, because I am very bad at staying in, that I will be heading to the Library today. However, it is more likely to be for my morning cappuccino (if I’m honest) than it is to do something constructive.
Okay seriously, the scary day of the week is gone, let’s get some work done. But today is the day that I have Contemporary dance, followed by Jazz! Alas, I always prioritise dance, swimming, running and friends over work. I’m sorry, I just do; I see these things as inspiration for my writing. So, on these days, much of my time is spent in the Sport Centre, especially as, being a Tocil resident, I happen to live right next door to it!
Yeah, yeah, I get it. Last night, I spent four obscenely late night/ early morning hours in the Library. Maybe one of them was indeed catching up with a friend about an event, but the other three, I was solidly at my computer networking (writing). I write in snippets. Throughout the week, things come to me- notes, thoughts, ideas. Everything, be it in the middle of dance, or mid-conversation with my best friend, sparks ideas for writing. So I’ve been putting these together in the spare hours of the week so far, from scrap book to document. Thank goodness for my laptop.
Today I am attending LitBiz too, a weekly hour of literature talk held by my course. We discuss writing, careers, all things publishing, and all things non-publishing too. Thoughts interrupt me though and there are several things I want to write down …here comes the spontaneous four hour laptop session again.
I am so glad I didn’t go out! I wrote almost a thousand words in my writing binge and now feel ready to treat myself. Sadly, part time work and other freelancing things end up consuming my socialising time today, but of course I make time to nip to Cannon Park for groceries, and straight to the Library afterwards for my cappuccino. I bump into all my Warwick friends here too for chitchat times about their study and whatnot.
I am starting to feel guilty about how much, or rather how little time I am putting in! Time to buck up my ideas so I put in a respectable session in the Reading Lounge (floor 1 of the Library). I find that people watching, and bumping into friends, always sparks ideas about my subject topic: behaviour.
Okay, so maybe going out two nights in a row wasn’t quite ideal. I’m old and recovery doesn’t work a charm as it used to! Nevertheless, I had a great time, whipped out the notes on my phone, and am reading through all the tit-bits I plan to write about. I’m most definitely not in a fit state to coherently use them now, so I’m going to return my books, drink coffee, bump into friends and go for a long walk to look at the ducks. Gotta love a bit of nature time around campus.
Of course I realise how this seems to the external eye. Yet freelancing and so flexible a course actually means non-stop work. I do have a very active awareness that my course-mates are far more engrossed in their studies than myself and often prefer far more regimented and essay based units. But I love being able to relate all sorts of weird and wonderful things I come across into my degree, and it reminds me that I am studying what I love: life.
Share your week and work habits with us below- it would be great to hear how much more constructively you’ve been using the library!
Image: IMG_7617/Clemson/ CC BY 2.0