A year of creative writing at Durham

Hellooo all my lovely readers!

Have any of you ever done some sort of extracurricular activity that just made you feel all sparkly and alive? Something that was the highlight of your week and the idea of missing it brought tears to your eyes and made you feel like this adorable pouting emoji? 🥺

I’ve been thinking about doing a reflective post of my first year at university, looking at all the different aspects of it, such as living in my flat, classes, online learning, and all the other non-academic parts of university life both while I was at Durham and when I had to do it all remotely from South Africa. Because I wasn’t too sure about it, I thought I’d dip my metaphorical toe in the water and do a post about my year as a member of the creative writing society at my university because, honestly, it was probably one of my favourite parts of the entire year!

The Creative Writing Society is a small, intimate group of all lovely humans at the university with a passion for creative writing. When I first signed up for it, I was more intimidated than when I met my boyfriend’s parents for the first time or if I had to face the Hulk on a bad day. During my gap year, my confidence in my writing took a nosedive off a cliff… with weights on my ankles… into a bottomless pit… So I guess you could say I had basically no faith in my ability to write anymore, and the idea of joining a group where my already bruised, battered and broken ego might get beaten some more was terrifying. Let me tell you, though, I could not have been more wrong. From the minute the Execs introduced themselves, I knew that I had made the right choice. Everyone was so friendly, the exec’s were all wonderful, and the vibe was… for lack of a better word… like coming home.

Throughout the year, the creative writing meetings were my little safe spot. They were the calm from the crazy and one of my favourite ways to forget about the stress of excessive reading and essay assignments. There were some really fun and funky themes; some of my favourites include the Valentine’s Day meet-cute session, creating lipograms, dystopian opening scenes, and the Christmas randomizer prompt. Each week we would see if the president’s laptop would come to life and fly away. My cat became an honorary member (and possibly the future mascot because who can say no to this face???). Not only that, but the supportive environment and weekly sessions have actually helped me get some of my confidence back, and I’ve started working on a new big fictional piece, so yayyyy!!

It was pretty sad that we never got to meet in person though. Right from the start of the year, all the sessions and socials were done online, even when I was in Durham. It did make sharing our writing samples a little easier and less intimidating (I don’t know why, but speaking to little blocks on Teams is much easier than a room full of people staring at you… or is that just me?), but it would have been really cool to meet some of the fantastic people in the society. Hopefully, next year we will be able to meet up at least once, maybe in some picturesque little cafe, all huddled over notebooks like a postcard?

Speaking of next year brings me to a little bit of exciting news as well. Because the creative writing society was such a large (and fun) part of my first year at university, I applied to be one of the execs… Say hello to the new secretary of the Creative Writing Society!!

*throws confetti and twirls around the room*

I was beyond excited to be awarded an exec position, especially for such a wonderful and inclusive society. Even though I’ll really miss the old exec, I can’t wait for this new year to work with the new exec. I won’t lie, I’m a little nervous about my role because last year’s secretary did such a great job, but who says nerves can’t be a sneaky way to motivate us and push us to be the best version of ourselves possible? So be prepared, future CWS members, for some super sparky emails and a year of exciting creative writing sessions!

Anyway, that brings me to the end of my little reflection of a year as a member of the creative writing society at university. I hope you all enjoyed today’s post, and if you did, should I do a reflective post on more aspects of my first year? Also, should I share some of the creative writing pieces I did during the year? Has anyone else been part of a club/society that you really loved? What was it, and how was it? Lastly, I’m thinking of starting a little advice/tips series about university life – would anyone be interested in that? I’ll answer all your questions and concerns within the posts, so to start things off, does anyone have any thoughts, comments or concerns about university in general? Let’s chat in the comments section!

Lots of Love (and wish me luck for next year)

Blondey on a Mission xxx

Author: blondeyonamission

Hey everyone! I'm a lifestyle and travel blogger from South Africa and about to relocate to the UK for university. My blog is all about stories, tips and advice with topics ranging from university, organisation, friends, books, travel and more. Please check it out and I hope you enjoy xxx

12 thoughts

  1. At university, part of two groups- a social group and a club.

    Campus Civitan was a service club- Special Olympics, Miracle Hill (a homeless shelter), Octoberfest, Relay for Life, etc……..Our Octoberfest themes were Outer Space, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, and Grease- if you don’t know what that it, it is a kid’s festival for Halloween.

    Even though I wasn’t a member of the committee for the Gathering, the student-led worship service, I regularly attended- which was weekly.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. My entire blog is thoughts and comments about university in general, so yes, there’s that. 😛

    Seriously, though… good that you found something to get involved in. Hopefully you will get to meet in person soon. Are all of your classes still online? The real-life university that inspired my writing just started back in person this week, with very aggressive vaccination and testing requirements (I have mixed feelings about that, but that’s a discussion for another time… I’m just glad I’m not a student now having to go through all this).

    My club when I was a student was the Christian student group I’ve been writing about. I made some great friends there that have lasted into adulthood, but as I wrote about recently, I also ran into some problems with cliquishness.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yehhhhh😁

      Thanks so much I hope so too! I think most of my classes are going to be in person which will be awesome. Oooh that doesn’t sound great … that sounds like a really amazing student group though and so happy you’ve kept those friends!

      Liked by 2 people

  3. So happy that the “weights” came off your ankles as you seem to have been flying ever since. Congrats on your appointment as Secretary of the Creative Writing Club. may I be one of the 1st to read your book when completed or even in between?

    Liked by 1 person

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