For its own sake

I feel like I’m on-track to sorting out this university garbage at last, and my first day back didn’t feel like I was actually ‘at’ university at all, for which I was very grateful. It’s so interesting being out of the system for so long and then coming back into it, and gauging just how much I’ve come to rely on and actually trust myself.

Some of the things that were said in the lecture today, specifically about not taking the lecturer to be contradicting herself just because she said two seemingly contradictory things about the same concept in different weeks, was just obvious to me after a year and a half of doing my own ‘research’ – reading articles online, drafting a novel, and I guess also having already done an arts degree. It felt good. Also the lecture was really interesting and relevant to my life in this digital age of ours, and it’s starting to feel like media studies is indeed the subject I’ve been searching for, something that I actually want to learn about and get invested in.

Tomorrow is going to be the real test for me in terms of finding a balance between study and drafting. I have no lectures tomorrow, so it’s all going to be self-directed study and drafting until my film festival movie in the evening – a fine opportunity to test just how on-task I can keep myself. I want to cut myself off from studying after 6pm, but I still like my idea about having flexibility with my time-keeping so I’ll see how I go.

I’m really just writing this so that I keep up the habits I’ve developed and want to keep in shape, and regular blogging is one of them. Fittingly enough, one of my papers requires me to submit blog posts as part of my coursework, so that should be interesting.

But tomorrow I am going to try and nut out this draft. I think I know what I have to do, and now it’s just a matter of making a plan for it. I’ve got to identify which chapters need changing and which ones are basically fine the way they are, and then incorporating the changes that I want to make on top of those. It’ll be a combination of new writing and re-wording to make the continuity work, and I want to be able to compartmentalise it so that I’ve got some kind of organisational system in place for it. My goal is to be done with draft 2 by the final week of lectures so that I don’t have to worry about it while I’m doing exam study; I know that at least one of my papers doesn’t even have an exam though, so that’s already one less thing to worry about. I’ve always thought Arts papers shouldn’t have exams anyway, as it’s all about conducting and applying research anyway, so this is definitely a plus.

I also caught up with a friend, and together we saw Maidentrip, a film about Laura Dekker, and the things she had to say about being alone at sea, the way it shaped her worldview and her sense of self-reliance, really resonated with me. It reminded me of the writing process quite a bit actually – a lot of isolation and loneliness, but you also get so much opportunity to explore yourself, to be tested purely on your own terms and make your own success with what you alone have to hand. To a point, of course, and I’m not suggesting that sailing and writing are analogous to each other, but still. It was motivational to say the least, even if Laura herself has some undisclosed issues with the film. All that I took away from it is that she is a total BAMF. (That totally doesn’t count as breaking my no-heavy-swearing rule. It’s an acronym. Acronyms don’t count.) And it also kind of makes me want to go sailing. After learning how, of course. That would probably help.

I shall let you know how studying/writing works out tomorrow. I am still really motivated to get ahead with all my readings this week while I don’t have to worry about tutorials. I still really want this to work. But now that it’s actually started, I also no longer feel the panic, or the urgency. And I have to say that I really don’t mind it. I don’t think I need it anymore.

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