Process Post #8

written and posted Nov 27 by Mallory Mariano

Juggling Content Creation with the rigours of academia

School is a drag.

I absolutely adore what I’m learning in class and recognize the immense privilege of undertaking the student experience, for what limited time I have here.

Lately, my psychological state seems to be gravitating between both mentioned dispositions, with no clear middle ground whatsoever. It can be a bit jarring, when half the time I am dreading coursework and academic responsibility, while simultaneously soaking the entire experience of being in school in as deeply as possible, for my limited time as an undergraduate. Of not particularly worrying about logistics, such as assignments, attendance, preparation for graduate school applications, the next-phase of my life post-grad, and the like.

Coursework for PUB101 is interesting, in that I have had to essentially confront my habits and dispositions as a student, on a level previously unforeseen with other courses in my four-year degree. The weekly scheduled demands of this course in particular have led me to ask questions of myself: how do I prioritize my time, outside of my required seminars/lectures/tutorials? How efficient am I during the allotted time I allow myself to complete work? Should I be spacing out my work more often (ie. two to three scheduled work ‘blocks’ in a given week outside of lecture/tutorial specifically for PUB101 only)? In short, I have had to push myself in ways I am not used to, with this course in particular. Part of this is my fault, given my creative decision to curate ‘professionally-tailored’ literary criticism, content that I wish to be taken seriously. At the beginning of the semester, while I did have an idea of the level of work expected of me (partly self-imposed), I would have never conceived of a scenario where I would be pushing myself to turn in close to 1000-word, well-prepared, well-researched literary reviews – the reality in which I currently find myself.

Many of these disparate thoughts have highlighted this idea of creating content ahead of time, in a kind of tailored ‘posting schedule’. The demands of this course in particular are designed to be presented on a weekly basis; while this may be the case for the majority of my peers, studiously posting according to the recommended weekly posting regimen, I have not been able to meet these standards on a consistent basis.

As is extremely typical in my case, with strong historical precedent, I have left the majority of my content work to the very latter half of the semester. While this approach has always worked in my favour, it is almost always accompanied with a feeling of ‘just having survived’. I burn myself out, considering that I always work a part-time job in between attending a full-time course load.

I am, by no means complaining, but simply recognizing the sheer level of work and discipline required of content creating in the digital age, especially with digital publishing such as literary criticism. Am I cut out for this kind of labour? In a perfect scenario where I am being both 1) compensated well and 2) creating work that I am truly passionate about, I could see this style of labour and content creation working.

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