Editor's note: Illinois State University creative writing major Jacob Fortino will be joining The Vidette with tips for better writing and studying. As writer himself, he will be sharing his writing process and ways to help other writers. 

In this season of discontent and solitude, many of our once-loved hobbies may now seem like mere memories.

However, it is important that we continue these hobbies with our refined areas and at a safe distance. This can be trying especially when our hobbies may require us to meet up with friends or to invest much of our time.

When it comes to these hobbies, few, like writing, require the will power and tenacity of reading for fun in this day and age. When your day requires rigorous amounts of forum posts followed by the two responses to our peers, reading really can seem like the last thing one wants to do. Why do I find myself not wanting to read when the very reason I am at Illinois State University is to create good  works of literature? Why is it even worse for writing?

This semester is the first semester where I felt like a writer, or at the very least a creative writing major. How can I find the drive to read and write when I felt some sort of struggle even in crafting this work in full?

Well, this may come as no surprise to anyone at all but what I believe is that we are in a position during  quarantine where we are constantly reading even if we don’t really consider it reading on the level of say, an assigned work of post-World War II literature. Assigned readings like these can simulate a common effect in high school where the number of faults we find in a book are not due to the content of the book itself.

Back during my freshman year at Illinois State, I shared a room at Watterson Towers. Somewhere along the line, we and our neighbors were discussing books we liked and books that we really disliked. He happened to bring up Harper Lee’s “To Kill a Mockingbird.” For those that are huge fans of this, the idea of someone disliking a story like that may be of immense confusion to them. So, for what reason can reading, or memory of a reading, yield us from reading in our own personal lives?

For those out there who’ve sat at their desk forcing themselves awake because of the need to get work done, if you’re out there, understand that we believe in you. This goes for everyone. Finding your correct voice in literature as well as your own writing can seem like a daunting task and one many can be frightened to step into.

Well though you struggle with writing, I understand why this task seems daunting. As readers and writers, self-worth is one of the most important things we can have and finding our work worthy of someone can feel like the greatest feeling in the world.

So how do you get out there and explore the many voices of those who are there with you? Understanding things that are going on in the world, not just highly industrial places that are so commonplace in many writing works, but what provide with vision is an understanding of knowledge about where the others are using their vision.

Getting involved in the very beginning may seem hard, but you will find so much of your new -found voice coming from a place you may never have guessed. Your voice is out there, waiting.

JACOB FORTINO is a blogger for The Vidette. He can be reached at jpforti@ilstu.edu. Follow him on Twitter at @Jacob4tino

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