Friday, February 24, 2012

The Rest of My Life

As of last night, my undergraduate Research Paper is now an existing thing. The first meeting with the moderator is next week, I have to get my ideas all together in advance for that, and it's going to follow me about for the next seven or eight months. I'm going to be honest, it's a long time since I spent so long writing one thing. I've never written something academic that's worth as much as this one paper.

What's more is that this paper, once completed, represents me in the college. And worse, when it's done I'll be almost half-way through my final year in college. That's where this post comes in.

I'm on the final steps towards facing the rest of my life. I might go and do a Masters, but I couldn't tell you what I'd do. Chaplaincy maybe. Or Counselling. I'm not sure. Maybe even Creative Writing, but I already know that's not a sure-fire way to get published.

And that's the thing: I want to get published. I want that to be how I make a living. Right now I feel like I'm too young to be in a classroom from nine in the morning until four in the afternoon. I'm too young to face a few hundred people every day and try to get a message through to them under the pretence of Mr Carroll. I'm just not that person. Not yet, anyway.

I still want to teach. That much will never change. But how I teach is a different story. I wrote up a big list of things I'm interested in that I've covered in college, and so far I'm looking at over a dozen different things I would like to write about. You know, academically. Or, at the very least, informative. I want the writing to be accessible, not something you would quote in an essay or article. For me, it's more important that people can read about the topics and understand them. That has to come first, or I'm not doing it properly.

As well as that, I want to teach creative writing. I know I'm not published, but I do have a lot more experience than some people do. In particular, since it would be a course for beginners, I would have more experience than everyone in the room. (It's what happens when you've been writing for seven years and been mentored unofficially for at least three of those years by a number of people online.)

Then, you know, there's my own creative writing. Fiction, poetry, plays. I just want to keep writing, to get published. That's how I want to make a living. I have dozens of stories in my head, all flying about untamed and unwritten, and if it weren't for the aforementioned Research Paper and the college hours that go along with it, I'd be writing full time by now. I plan to, in the summer. I need to get that experience, and I need to be doing it for money.

That's not a greed thing. That's a genuine need. I can't spend the next eighteen months sitting at home writing for nothing to find that come graduation I'm still only working weekends in a bookshop. It would drive me insane.

I need to change my life, and it starts now. It has to, or I'll keep putting it all off.

It's time to face the rest of my life, before college ends and I'm dropped in the deep end with a stitch in my side and nobody around to stop me sinking.

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