A Reflection on Fall Break

Fall Break will be over soon and on Wednesday, most if not all of us will be asked what we did during our time off. While many of us would like to say that we got a jump start on that paper that’s due, or finally got to read that book, I can honestly say that I didn’t do much, especially when it comes to academia.

Fall Break always seems to hinder my productivity. I often come home and realize that despite it being home there is so much to do with my family that I often never get a chance to have alone time, let alone time to do school work. As I type this I’m picturing all my textbooks, even poetry books that are currently in my backpack that I haven’t yet read. However, during this break, I noticed that home is also where I become the most creative. I’m not recommending procrastinating responsibilities for the sake of inspiration but I do think that when I’m on break, my mind has time to dwell and reflect. Of course, I’m not always in the greatest mood when I write during this time, but words flow from me more rawly than they would at school.

Over break, I took my mom to the emergency room (it was non-life-threatening so no worries!!!) and through the process of getting c-t scans and a diagnosis, my mom and I were there well over five hours. This wouldn’t be so bad, however, for least three of those hours, visitors were not allowed with their patient. After an hour sitting in the waiting room, I decided to get some coffee from the cafeteria. While I was there, I remembered thinking that I would have brought my neuro-psych textbook if I knew I’d have so much time to myself. With my hospital coffee and an empty table all to myself, I found myself typing on my google docs app about an idea of a new protagonist and how they would sound in my head. This burst of creativity hasn’t happened to me in a while. Later in the weekend I started writing more and jotting down some stanzas of poetry that came to me when I was waiting for the next family activity. During this time I realized that I was the most productive in writing when I seemed to fail at my normal level of productivity.

This realization led me to two reflections. The first being: I prioritize the manual labor of school work more than writing and my creativity suffers from it. Having so many amazingly creative friends allows me to look at my lack of progress honestly and see how their work ethic pays off in their writing and during this time off, I was able to see for myself how my creativity could expand when I had the time to do so. I think coming back to school I need to fight for my craft the way I fight for time to read my textbooks. If I don’t study in a span of two days I get antsy, and I should feel this more for my creative endeavors because those areas need my attention too.

Secondly: Home has been a source of a lot of my writing, whether I like it or not. My poems have been a little bleaker, but I think that this is the place where I’m at and it feels good to produce work that feels authentic to me. I’ve always heard that writing is therapeutic and I think a lot of my work, both in fiction and poetry has been a reflection of something in my past, whether I was conscious or unconscious of it at the time. While being home makes me feel unproductive, it has also been an opportunity to retreat back and use this time as a source instead of a roadblock to my poetry. Hopefully, my writing will move to another source soon (like the bank lol) but until then I might as well make the most of this stage in my life.

If anyone has similar experiences about their productivity during fall break I would love to hear!

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