3 Reasons to Take Creative Writing at MHC

It’s been months since I’ve written an article, and I have to say I’ve missed it a lot. If you’ve read any of my previous articles, you know that writing is one of my biggest passions in life, so not having the time to write has been difficult. But I’m back, and I thought I’d share with you guys some of what’s been going on with me this semester!

So far, my junior year here at Mount Holyoke has been a combination of successful and stressful. Socially, I’d say this semester has been successful. I have such a supportive, friendly and sweet group of friends on campus. Academically, it’s been tricky balancing five courses, but I’ve gotten the hang of it as time has passed.  

Speaking of classes, for this article I wanted to talk about my Intro to Creative Writing course, which has been my favorite class so far. I had heard so many great things about this class since my first year at MHC so I was disappointed that I wasn’t able to take it until now, but the two year wait was worth it.

The class is a seminar that meets once a week from 1:30 - 4:20. When I saw this on my schedule over the summer, I was worried I’d find the class boring. I love writing, but did I want to be listening to my professor talking about it for three consecutive hours? Nevertheless, I really wanted to take a writing course so I kept it on my schedule.

When the first day of class rolled around in early September, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I’d looked over the syllabus the night before and was overwhelmed by all of the assignments we would have. But then my professor, Samuel Ace, walked into the classroom and was so friendly and nice to talk to, that I knew I’d made the right decision to enroll in the course.

Looking back on some of my old pieces of writing, I can see how much it’s changed. I’d never thought of stepping out of my writing comfort zone before this class, but I realize now it was something I needed to do in order to grow as a writer.

Here are three reasons why you should take Intro to Creative Writing before you graduate from Mount Holyoke!

1. You Get a Break from Academic Papers

This was a huge reason for me. Since I knew I was going to be taking an extra class this semester, I wanted to balance out all of the dull academic work with something enjoyable. As I was searching for classes, I came across Creative Writing and immediately knew I wanted to take it. Although we do write a lot in this class, it’s always expressive and unique to you. I don’t really consider the assignments work!

2. You Work Closely With Your Classmates

Another reason why I’ve really enjoyed taking this class is because I’ve gotten to interact with my classmates. In lecture halls you often don’t talk to the other students, but in seminars you usually sit around a large table and share your ideas with one another. In Creative Writing, this is immensely helpful when editing pieces because you get helpful and insightful feedback from your peers. I also feel more comfortable speaking up in this class than in my lecture halls, because I know everyone fairly well.

3. You Grow Both as a Writer and a Student.

Initially, I was eager to take Creative Writing just as a way for me to write for fun throughout the semester, but now I’ve seen how much better my writing has gotten over the last three months. Prior to taking this class I was very much a safe writer. Before when I wrote,  I would provide details, but keep them on a surface level. I never wrote about anything too personal, and I tried to avoid writing about uncomfortable topics like sex, drugs, alcohol, racism, etc., because I never knew quite how to approach them.

Professor Ace has encouraged us throughout the semester to not be afraid to write the truth. He constantly reminds us to give all of the nitty-gritty details, to avoid censorship, and to just let the words flow onto the page. It’s taken me awhile to overcome my old habits of writing cliches, being generic, and detached, but now that I’ve finally passed it, I feel like a different person. I feel free and refreshed.

I mentioned this earlier in the article, but I truly feel like I’ve become a much stronger and more confident writer and student through this class. Taking Creative Writing has challenged me to push myself in terms of how I approach narrating my pieces, and how to receive/give feedback to others. This class has also made me feel more confident in voicing my opinions, which is something I’ve struggled with a lot in the past. If you’re like me and have some trouble speaking up in class, this course might help! It’s a really relaxing environment, and never once do I feel stressed about talking.

 

Though I think people who like writing would get the most out of this class, I honestly think anyone who has any sort of interest should register. You’re not required to be a skilled writer upon entering the class, which is nice. It’s a setting where you’re allowed to be yourself and express your voice, which makes each class enjoyable.

So don’t hesitate to register! Mount Holyoke offers the course every semester; you’re bound to get in at some point! I swear you won’t have any regrets.

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