It’s November, which means that I am in the midst of approximately 50000 papers and my thesis. My desk is strewn with research, hefty literary tomes, and my MLA handbook. In other words, my brain is in full-blown academic writing mode. I think in complex syntax and $500 dollar words, and analyze everything I see and hear. Everything I write, even a Facebook post, sounds like a term paper in my head. Unfortunately, this also carries over into my creative writing. I try to write dialogue, but every character sounds like they’re writing research papers, submitting articles for publication in The Modern Language Review, or reading Dostoevsky. The tone of every story is also ridiculously pretentious and stuffy…it all sounds like something Ann Radcliffe would have written. My current struggle is figuring out how to switch between modes so that I can work on my creative writing even during my busy research weeks. The only way I’ve discovered so far is completely shutting off the academic side of my brain by watching some ridiculous TV show (Gossip Girl, anyone?), and then I can switch into my creative mode. The only problem is that I often have difficulty getting back into the mood to write my thesis or other major literary type things…it can take hours to return to the right mindset, which is very frustrating. Still, it scratches an itch for now. Any suggestions? Anyone else have this issue?