It’s been four years since I finished my degree which had the desired outcome of improving and focusing my writing. Since then I’ve self-published a book on Amazon Kindle, moved house twice, relocating to the county I was born in, and furthered my complimentary therapy qualifications. But I’m still not in the position I’d like to be in, I’m still a struggling, penniless writer. Ha ha ha, yes you could say it’s my choice, but what I chose was to to be a stay-at-home mum for many years, and now I’m having to find a way through this difficult financial climate to do something that is as rewarding for the second half of my life. I’ve tried putting the writing down over the years but I can’t – it’s the biggest part that makes up my me-ness. It chooses me.
So what next? After some considerable months of feeling depressed and finding it hard to adapt to my new location, I do at last have a plan. I’m going to do my Masters in Creative Writing. I know the education path is not for everyone, and you certainly don’t need a qualification to be a good, or published author. But it’s a path that helps me – my personality likes the structure, the modules, the deadlines, the peer pressure. As soon as I had my acceptance letter and finance in place everything changed, the sadness and indecision lifted and I’ve been writing well ever since, eager to begin next month.
I’m also excited that my new place of study is so much bigger than the last. Their alumni includes wonderful writers: Kazuo Ishiguro, David Mitchell, Sarah Waters, Alan Davies, and my favourite ethnobotanist James Wong. And one of my lecturers will be Scarlett Thomas who wrote: The end of Mr Y. The huge campus is close to the beautiful historic city of Canterbury with it’s stunning medieval cathedral.
We have to find a way to stick to our dreams even if that sometimes seems the hardest thing on earth. I’m hoping that pursing my studies at a higher level will lead to better writing and publication, but who knows, I’m constantly surprised by what appears from round the corners in life, never what’s expected. I just feel privileged to be able to do this. So bring on the next chapter of my writing life…