What Do You Guys Even Do In Creative Writing?

by Olivia W. (’16)

This is a question I get asked a lot. Nobody ever asks, “What do you even do in band?” because that’s quite obvious, as well as “What do you even do in Visual?” or better yet, “What do you even do in Vocal?”

Nobody asks “what do you guys even do in Media?” or “What do you guys even do in Tech?” (Which I personally think are the most obscurely named departments.)

At SOTA, our departments are named for what they focus on. Band will play their instruments and Visual will conduct visual art and Vocal will be vocal and so on and so forth. Creative Writing is no exception to this rule of thumb.

Or maybe we are.

When I am asked this question or someone just wonders it out loud with no direct reference to me, someone in the vicinity will usually answer “I dunno, they just like, write all day.”

This wonderful misinformation has cleared the road for all of our highly amusing Creative Writing stereotypes. We drink tea all the time, read and write at every chance we get, are sadly underdeveloped and love poetry.

We do have a hot water boiler in class to make tea, I know for a fact that I write poems in math textbooks, and we did conduct poetry circles for a couple of weeks in CW1.

The stereotypes of Creative Writing aren’t a far throw from the truth. They are merely grossly bloated overblown romantic renditions of it.

What do we do in creative writing? Sometimes, we have deep, philosophical discussions. Sometimes we eat cupcakes. Sometimes we watch clips from awfully camp movies. Sometimes I have no idea what is happening.

Creative Writing changes day by day. I can tell you that we have a fall fiction unit, and then comes poetry, and we finish off with playwriting. I can tell you that we have Portfolio checks and Lit Reviews and three shows a year. I can tell you that Heather is our head and everyone loves Isaiah even though my freshman class has no clue who he is. I can tell you that on Friday we went to a Zen monastery and we won field day and that I know the names of everyone in my department and their grade but I cannot tell you what we do. It’s not because it’s a secret, it’s because so many things go on in my department I wouldn’t be able to give you the faintest clue in a novel.

Asking what we do in Creative Writing is like asking a mole what the ground tastes like. If you really wanted to know what the ground tasted like, you should take a bite yourself. Moles don’t eat dirt. They just swim in it.

One thought on “What Do You Guys Even Do In Creative Writing?

  1. Heather Woodward says:

    I told you in class, but I’ll tell you again that this is just great, Olivia. The piece is smart and engaging and funny. H

    Heather Woodward

    Director, Creative Writing

    Ruth Asawa School of the Arts

    555 Portola Drive

    San Francisco, CA 94131





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