I graduated from university in 2008. It was a long road of books and classes and interning that I was happy to have behind me as I forged a path into a new career. At times I contemplated getting my PhD and even applied for a program at one point. After careful consideration though, I was able to acknowledge that my reason for taking that academic journey any further was all wrong. I withdrew my application and jumped into the professional world of work.
And it was good. There have been other moments since then when I considered going back to school for that PhD and each time I came close to diving in before changing my mind. Honestly, even though I love to learn and have always enjoyed homework (sans math homework) I don’t see myself ever getting that PhD. I don’t want it. I think I would become resentful and in many ways use it as a ruse for getting out of the hard work of writing that I’m trying to make something of.
But in a few days, that’s where I’ll be. At school. Again. Only this time I’m not seeking a degree. I’m going to learn. I’m taking another step in the world of writing and taking a class on writing short stories. I’m really looking forward to it.
For starters, I’m not taking the class to get a degree. There is no “goal” in sight other than to show up each week, complete the assignments, and see where it takes me. It’s an interesting idea, isn’t it? To enjoy the journey of learning as opposed to going to school to get the “A” and the degree at the end of the ride.
I find it exhilarating that I’m taking a class on something that I never would have studied before. Not because I didn’t want to be a writer even as a kid, but because I didn’t know you could be. It never occurred to me while contemplating what to study at college that I could get a degree in fiction writing or literature and do something with it.
It’s going to be good for me to learn more about the craft of writing. I can easily whip out 50,000 words (and more) in a month’s time each November. But I need some purpose in my writing. I want to grow as a writer. And this is one way to do it.
In a few days, I’ll be back in the saddle of school. Failure isn’t an option and learning is the goal. It’s time to take another step in this journey of a writer’s life. Short stories here I come.
Have you ever done something for the sake of learning? What craft do you want to learn for your own personal growth? It’s a new year…how about taking that step? We can learn and grow together.