Saturday, March 28, 2015


Oh life.  It's getting harder.

All this time, I've been thinking that my life is a race, and that I am constantly slipping behind.  I have always been aware of my propensity to slow down, and basically fall apart when running for what seems like the majority of my existence.  After all I am no long distance runner.

But only now am I realising that I am stuck in a marathon.  And most days I wake up thinking, I don't want to do this, this is not where  I want to be.

Currently, I am struggling with my MA in Creative Writing.  I have now passed the area where I enjoy it, and I already want it to be over.  Not because I don't enjoy it (contradiction I know), but because my mind is already feeling trapped, and ready to move onto new things.  Do I still want to be a writer? Hello, I am a writer, and I've been writing since '95.  But a professional, now that is the question.  Sometimes it's the celebration of other writers that rubs me up the wrong way in my MA.  We are told 'oh now this book is incredible'.  I read it, and I beg to differ.  And even when I offer criticisms, I feel that there is this unsaid retort: well, where's your book?  Let's see you do better? 

No, I don't have a book yet, and I'm sure that if I ever do, there will be critics.  But does that mean I have to blow smoke up someone's arse because I don't have a book and I aspire to be a writer also?

This, is the problem I feel with creative writing classes; I am not a book groupie.  Yes, BOOK GROUPIE.  There are several of these on every course.  They are people who read a lot of books, and talk about their favourite authors like they know them, but cannot write for shit.  Their characters lack depth, merit or interest, and the plots are trite and derivative at best.  

And I sit through this, tortured.  I sit through this thinking, I don't want to do this, this is not where  I want to be.  And then I feel so angry with myself.  There are so many humble people on the course, who have sacrificed and taken a year out of their life, so many who really believe that this course is going to catapult them into literary success, and here I am among them, the cynic.  And it's not that I don't believe that it can't happen for them, they just seem a bit groupie-ish.  Overall, I think there are about a handful of good writers on our course.  And it's all of the peripheral WHITE NOISE coming from these other writers that I find frustrating, and that affects my concentration, affects my sight, my vision, makes me not want to write.  How bizarre.  How can these other writers prevent me from writing?

All of these thoughts make me more and more of an introvert.  I feel myself drawing away from my (few and possibly dwindling) friendships, all to reach a new goal, to realise a new ambition.  To be me, fully.  

But ultimately, who am I anyway?

Is this a quarter life crisis?  Or something else?

There are days I am happy studying the MA.  Days where the contribution and guidance from my tutors and classmates makes me a better writer.  Days where I am excited and want to write, need to write.

New words bounce around in my head, and are on post it notes on my walls:


The beauty of language.  How wonderful writing can be.

Of course there is still the problem of Real Uni, and the degree I am yet to finish.  I've broken up for Easter now, and there are very few weeks of teaching left, and everything will be over with by the middle of May for Real Uni, I hope.  Providing I pass everything, and keep my head down.  

It is still hard to dream, when you're caught up with doing.  Dreaming is all about the future, whereas doing is all about the present.  And before you know it, you're 'living the dream' I guess.  

Yesterday one of my friends asked me do I dream of having a publishing contract, and having a bestselling book.

Me: Maybe.

No comments

Post a Comment

Blogger Template Created by pipdig