Saturday, July 6, 2013

Diary of a Creative Writing PhD Student or the Chronicles of a Single Mom (and PhD student)


When I was a kid I wanted to be a psychologist, a writer and a wealthy adult (from doing I don’t know what).  My first job, picking blueberries, was a far journey from any of my possible career paths but three decades later I can say picking blueberries helped me get where I am today.

Today I am a writer but that’s not all I am. I am a writer, a professor (assistant and adjunct) and I’m launching a new endeavor as a screenwriter.

Over the years I've had many roles including telemarketer for about 6 months and a rapper for about 6 days.  Like most people I've juggled more than one role at a time while working to pay bills and paying bills so I could work. No matter what job I had I was clear about wanting a career: I’m no stranger to dreams.

Still these last few months have unsettled me slightly.

Now that I’m pursuing a PhD and surrounded by possibilities and opportunities, what do I want to do when I’m finished? I want to write.  Over the past six months I've toyed with various careers that would allow me time to write in my “spare” time but would not allow me to write full time: murder mystery bed and breakfast owner, copywriter, TV production company owner; all of them have an allure—the ability to fulfill one or more needs.  The need to leave a business for my children to step in to as well as a business that could allow them to eat is quite alluring but not necessarily rewarding.

Whatever I do I want to do well. If I don't choose wisely, that means potentially investing a lot of time into an endeavor I only partially want.

And so, I choose to write and to teach; some years I will write more than I teach and others will reach equilibrium though I do not seek one. What I write will be fiction, nonfiction, short stories, novels, scriptwriting; I’m not limited by time, opportunity or imagination.

Words can only propel me forward; words won’t hold me back.

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