I don’t like studying literature


As I write this, I am struggling with an assignment for my Theory and Creative writing class. I have a 10 minute (unmarked) presentation tomorrow on the topic of authorship and need to relate it to the works of Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes. Following this, I have a 3000 word essay on the topic due in a couple of weeks. To say it is driving me nuts is an understatement.

It reminds me though, why I never liked studying literature. I am having flashbacks to my undergraduate days when I studied English literature during my first two years and well, lost interest in reading for pleasure. Similarly, since starting this course back in July, I haven’t actually had time to read for pleasure. I do like Sylvia Plath’s works but unfortunately, when it comes to writing an essay on a topic I know little about, I am struggling. My tutor has been helpful enough but try telling someone who has studied psychology — arguably a scientific subject — to now write an essay where they can actually provide their own opinions. It’s mind blowing!

For years while studying psychology, my essays and reports were critical analyses of studies and using other research to back up arguments in the essay. But I was never allowed to have an opinion. Never allowed to write my views. Never allowed to use first-person. And now, all of a sudden, I have been told I can use first person in my essays. I can have my views as long as I back it up with references. And these references are not based on any scientific research. No way. They are based on others’ opinions. Some of these opinions seem to ramble {in my own humble opinion} leaving me confused as to what their point of view is. Psychology never rambled. The researchers didn’t have the means to do so.

It’s a bit weird that I can have a creative brain and yet prefer something so analytical and logical. Apparently, something completely free-flowing doesn’t agree with me. Or maybe I have just trained my brain to think a certain way after all these years of psychology.

Whatever the reason, I know one thing for sure. While I love reading and writing, I don’t like studying literature. It seems to take the fun out of reading and writing. In the end, shouldn’t creativity be about fun? About enjoyable and pleasurable moments? Rather than struggling with theory and essays?

Have you studied something creative and found that it can actually suck the pleasure out?

Do share!

photo credit: the bbp via photopin cc

***Linking with Alicia for Open Slather***

Until next time,


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  • Sarah from Creating Contentment
    13 October 2014 at 5:47 pm

    I love my literature classes for all that you’ve mentioned! I also found that they gave me more enjoyment of reading due to the greater understanding of the text I had afterwards.
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  • Alicia
    13 October 2014 at 9:44 pm

    I actually enjoyed writing essays about literature when I was at school. It makes my brain hurt thinking about it now!
    Alicia recently posted…Passionate about protecting the Limestone CoastMy Profile

  • ann
    14 October 2014 at 10:16 pm

    Oh my I would love to study!! I am so glad we were forced to read so many things in school like Shakespeare as I appreciate stuff like this but would never read it now. I am seriously considering doing some kind of computer course as I have no idea how to do simple things!!
    Good luck with the essay!!
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  • John Holton
    15 October 2014 at 1:19 pm

    Oh, absolutely. The great books we read in high school were enjoyable until teachers got their hooks into them and screwed them up for us.
    John Holton recently posted…Two for Tuesday: Tal FarlowMy Profile

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