My writing has a schedule of its own. I have never set aside a specific time to write, but prefer to let inspiration drive me. I can never force creativity or ‘just sit down and write’ - writing has never been that easy for me. In the past, this way of writing often made me wonder if I really should identify myself as a ‘writer’ because I often go for long stretches without writing a single word (not counting academic essays). I still have trouble calling myself a writer, but I’m growing more comfortable with it as I venture deeper and deeper into the literary community.
I always carry a little black notebook with me, where I write anything that comes to mind - fragments of poetry, song lyrics that I’m loving at the moment (usually by Florence and the Machine), or something that someone has said to me that I found inspiring. The notebook basically holds my heart in written form, and I’m not sure if I will ever show it to anyone, but I like looking through it sometimes and reminding myself of where I’ve been and where I am now. I also write a lot of poetry in my phone when I can’t get to the notebook in time (I once wrote a poem standing at the bus stop in a snowstorm).
Most of my poems come to me in places that hold a lot of memories or comfort. For the past few years, that place has been my school’s campus. There is a little coffee shop attached to one of our academic buildings that I often find myself writing in – it’s definitely become one of the places where I can be most creative.
It’s been really hard to write creatively for a while because of the never-ending stream of academic essays that comes with being an English major. Although I love writing essays and analyzing literature, time for my own projects has become limited to mostly ideas floating around in my brain that I hardly have time to get down on paper. This term I’m trying really hard to set aside time for myself to be creative and write for my own enjoyment, but it’s difficult to schedule my bursts of inspiration.
Along with my poetry, I’m currently attempting to rebuild a novel I’ve been working on, and I have a couple of personal essay ideas that will eventually be written. Writing is a slow process for me and I’m learning to be okay with that.
Mikayla Ruppe is pursuing an undergraduate degree in English Literature and Rhetoric with a minor in Gender and Social Justice at St. Jerome’s University (affiliated with the University of Waterloo). She is a long-time intern and volunteer with The New Quarterly. She loves reading pretty much anything, drinking coffee and listening to her record collection. Mikayla lives in Waterloo, ON, and hopes to travel to BC for graduate studies in the future.