When people find out you’re an English major, the first thing that spews from their mouth is “Oh, so you want to be a teacher?” It’s hard to believe for the general public, but not every girl of boy who is a bookworm ends up an English teacher, even if they grew up watching Boy Meets World, where many episodes translated literature into Corey’s life.
The next thing they always ask you is about your favorite literature (remember, you’re a bookworm) is if you’ve read “this” or “that”, and the truth is, you’re so busy trying to work your way through school that you don’t read for fun, and haven’t since that summer when your apartment was next to the library and you constantly checked out books with “evil” and “death” in the title. English majors don’t read as much as one would think. I think I took American Literature for three different classes in college, and by the end, I was done, and don’t want to write another paper on Huck Finn again. There is no time to pack all of the books you want into a day, and there are no extra minutes added on when they are a “classic.”
While I wasn’t reading “this”, I was making up my own stories, writing songs, and preoccupied with any creative outlet I could find. Studying the classics, the greats, and what came before is always wise, but there has to be something that is to be said for your originals. Your originals are wonderful, but they will never be completely yours. I could say I was revolutionary and creative with my art, but the chances that no one had ever tried to tell something like my story are impossible. Even though I didn’t have time to seek out stories prior to mine, they will still essentially be a retelling.
I know that out there in the world there are works similar to mine, but also that reading things different from your perspective are integral to one’s own creativity. Perhaps when life slows down a little I can read those books people ask me about, but until then, don’t look at me like I didn’t earn my place on the Dean’s List. I even made Dean’s List at a school I never attended, but alas, another time.
My writing won’t be a classic and it won’t embody an extensive array (though it will be selective) of problems during a specific time period. It is about creating a world in which the reader feels comfortable enough to explore their own humanity and philosophies. It isn’t going to be something that a new friends questions you about when they find out you’re an English major. It’s going to be a pleasant escape, a place you look forward to, and the flawed, disappointing, and amazing characters you see in yourself, and that I see in me!