Diary of a Creative Writing PhD student: Creator of Literary Events, Literary Talks and Creative Co-Producer of Stories at the Storey, North West Literary Salon and Characters in Motion/Off the Page Writing Development Performed Workshops.
Developer of If These Words Could Talk
Writing is a business. Like any successful business the business of writing takes more than passion, desire and talent. Finding the right balance is up to you. Each week I interview writers about how they craft a career with their words. In Episode 10, comedian, novelist, screen play writer and teacher Ramzy Sweis shares insight on pitching, promoting and getting results.
How cool is it to wake up one morning and decide to leave your job and write full time?
Well, without planning, a solid foundation, and a strong support team, quitting your day job might seem cool but it won't pay the bills.
Talking with writer P.A. Chawla helped me put a few things into perspective. I want to make a living with my words not be a starving artist. My children need to eat. I analyze options before I make decisions. Before making any major decision, I outline the main characters of the situation (story), review motivations and consider possible tension and plots. Because I want to make a living, I'm more likely to plan, organize and save before deciding to drop everything and write.
According to Chawla, I'm on to something. In a candid interview, writer P.A. Chawla shares her route to the Writing Life.
I’m pursuing a Creative
Writing PhD. “What are you going to
do with that?” People ask. It’s not what some
consider a logical degree choice. Logical
choices translate from degree to bank account; from dollars in cost to dollars
in revenue. Logical degree choices don’t just make sense; they make cents—a lot
of them. I am a writer. What other degree allows
me to write and research engaging topics that interest, love and inspire me? Who
would I be if I didn’t follow my passion? And what will I be if I don’t apply
logic to passion? Broke. It is not logical to
assume I will graduate and no matter how engaging my writing, tumble in to a
full-time Creative Writing faculty position. Despite my modern degree, chances
are I will have to earn my position the old fashioned way: one best seller at a
time. Each conversation I have
with either an established or emerging writer shows me that it is possible to
craft a career as a writer, as long as I keep a day job and a steady stream of
projects and poss…
Over the past four years I have taught “traditional”
college-aged students in their late teens to early twenties, as well as “adult
learners” and “mature students”; these are all labels that don’t necessarily seem
to translate inside the classroom: they are all students. My students are individuals with a drive for
individual success, a sense of responsibility and a set of needs that lead to
expectations that I hope to meet and exceed if not the first class, by the
last. Not all of my students are happy about being in a classroom; they don't all want to be there. But the battle is not between them and I; it is not personal. And so I will teach them--but I won't fight them. I don't picture myself forcibly injecting knowledge or administering academic CPR. Though I struggle with names, I hope to build relationships with each
student and learn their personalities, goals and needs in ways that make sense
to me: I learn about people through their words, mainly through their wri…