|Flickr Credit: Sheri Terris|
I am a school person.
I'm good at school, I like school, and it's been that way since basically forever. I keep deadlines and turn things in and follow directions. I actually read everything that is assigned to me and I edit my essays many times over and most of the time I even remember do format my papers to the fullest of MLA extents, with my last name and the page number at the top—which is very easy for me to forget, by the way.
On top of that, I go to a really good school for me. I am asked important questions and am invited to find my place in the world and how to mingle what I learn in one class with all of my other classes. It's fun, and thought-provoking, and engaging, and I don't want to give that up.
But also, it eats up my life, and I hate it.
Other things eat up my life, too, of course. I spend way too much time talking to my friends, and on Pinterest, and watching Castle when I should probably be off killing characters people like or something writerly like that.
At the same time, if it ever comes down to crunch time between a writing deadline and a school deadline, I will always pick the school deadline.
It drives me nuts, because the thing that is teaching me how to follow my dreams is of a higher priority to me than actually going out and following my dreams. And on the one hand, yeah, I am paying a lot of money to go to school and I need to keep up my grades or I will lose some grants and it is very, very important that I do well in school.
But on the other hand... school is only going to be about four years. Several people expect me to go on to get a higher degree of some sort, and maybe I will, but definitely not right after I graduate this round. I have to go out and get a job. And of course I don't expect it to be anything more than an unskilled low-pay job, but when I all I've got is an unskilled low-pay job then writing is going to be the main, possibly only, thing left to me that will challenge and teach me and encourage me to get out of my comfort zone.
I would like to not get out of practice of writing from Point A to Point B.
But I have. School started three weeks ago and I haven't written a word since. I mean, maybe I tried that first weekend, but it was hardly anything. I just let it all go. And the MS I am working on gathered dust in the depths of my computer, right next to the idea that I would finish this year with three new drafts from three different projects.
I decided I'm not okay with that.
Right before I started writing this post, I sat down and wrote one hundred words of my MS. And compared to probably anybody else who is talking about writing on Twitter tonight, it is a feeble number—laughable, silly, unproductive.
But it is still one hundred more words than I have written in the last three weeks.
And I'm gonna do it again tomorrow.