So I've been tossing around the idea of going to college online. I've researched some Bachelors of Arts in English programs and the more seriously I think about it the more I can't seem to think of anything else.
I've posted before about my short attention span though, and the thought of enrolling only to quit a few months later is slightly painful (especially when you think that total, the degree would cost me somewhere around sixty thousand dollars.)
But it's a testament to my admitted strangeness. The idea to go back to school popped into my brain when I was sitting here surrounded by a newborn, a 4 year old, and a 4 month old puppy. The TV was blaring, I was making lunches, doing laundry, listening to music, writing an email on my phone and rummaging through the freezer trying to come up with something to make for dinner. All at the same time. And suddenly it occurred to me that my life is pretty manageable. Hectic, yes, but not hectic enough. There are whole parts of my day NOT filled with chaos.
That doesn't sit well with me. So I thought "Maybe I should get my degree?" and promptly made time to research graduate programs and tuition prices. I even filled out FAFSA. Apparently I qualify for a Pell grant...
And the whole process made me wonder exactly how many writers have a degree in English? How many writers have a degree at all?
I'm obviously not considering going back to school because I NEED to. If anything I'd probably get the diploma, hang it on my wall and forget all about it. But English is really the only thing I'd be interested in studying. I've taken courses at The Institute of Children's Literature that really improved my writing, and I was invited to take an advanced course in Young Adult Novels (the first course was mainly basic writing skills and submissions for children's magazines.) But I wonder how I'd do in a full blown college situation. I suck at math, and science, and basically anything that isn't English. Who needs equations or beakers when you have Jane Austen and Charlotte Bronte?
What about you? Do you have a degree? Is it in English? Is it in any way related to what you do for a living?
The other day I mentioned something to The Husband about writing, or one of my stories. (At the time I was on about 3 hours of sleep, so I don't remember what I said exactly.)Anyway, I said what I said and the husband stops watching his food rotating in the microwave (I remember THAT because he was eating the leftovers I wanted) and he sort of laughs and says "Why does it matter, you never write anymore anyway."
So I took "his" food and stormed out of the kitchen, naturally.
Just kidding. He was absolutely joking, but in my limited sleep state I found it less funny than he did. So suddenly I was remembering all the times in the last few months that he mentioned my stories, wondered aloud when was the last time I wrote, joked about buying me an iPad when I get published, "If you ever actually write anything, I mean." All the NAGGING!
And they say wives are the annoying ones...
In his defense, he sees it as encouragement, not nagging. Either way it's a sad little reminder that I HAVEN'T been writing and probably should have made more time for it before everything got crazy with the new baby. I knew my due date, I knew time was running out, and I still stayed about as far from that computer as I could. Not on purpose, it just worked out that way. And it isn't the first time I've done this. There's a whole ton of STUFF I've bought over the years- painting supplies, jewelry making tools, sewing machine, piano lessons, karate classes, etc- that I eventually just stopped doing.
Do I think I'm done writing? Absolutely freaking not. In fact, writing seems to be the only thing I always go back to. Why? Well, probably because learning how to half moon walk across a dojo, or proper finger placement on ivory keys didn't touch my heart the way characters and settings do. Somehow I stumbled on the thing I'll always go back to, whether it's babies, or zombies standing in my way.
It's got to have something to do with believing in what I'm doing. I absolutely believe this is what I was supposed to do with my life. I may not be ready to throw my stuff out into the world yet, but I will be. It's what makes me smile and kiss my husband on the cheek rather than steal "his" leftover meatballs when he makes fun of me for being lazy.
When you're putting so, SO much time into something as complicated as a novel, when you pour yourself into your characters you have to have the drive to see it through, no matter how long it takes. The key to that drive is believing that writing is supposed to be a part of your life and never giving up no matter what happens. And that doesn't just apply to writing. Believing in yourself and your ability to do whatever you want is one of the most important things you can have.
Hello! According to Blogger it's been almost two months since my last post, and if you've been following me in the sense that you actually read my posts, then you'll know its because I had a baby!
My daughter, Pemberly Katherine was born July 23rd and has effectively taken over every ounce of my life that wasn't previously used up by my three year old son and our four month old beagle. So, of course while I'm up for a 3am feeding, or wrist deep in diapers all I can think about is writing, and plotting, and outlining, and changing this, and moving that, and cool titles, etc, etc, etc.
But with all this cuteness, I can hardly complain!
And while she's currently only 3 weeks old (almost) I'm chomping at the bit to get back into the swing of things; meaning regular posts, commenting on blogs, actually writing, and hopefully a critique partner search. In the mean time all the available space in my brain is taken up by people who don't exist and places I've never actually been to.
That sounds insane, but you know what I mean. I hope. Am I nuts? I hope not.