Never in my wildest dreams had I considered I would be a student of creative writing.
Yet, here I sit... almost a graduate of a Master's in Creative Writing.
There are many out there who agree that one does not need a formal education to be a creative writer. I'm kind of on the fence about that. On one hand, I feel I could have learned a lot about the writing and publishing industries on my own. On the other hand, I didn't start the program because I wanted to be a writer.
Let me clarify that. I've always loved writing and creating stories. But I kept that close to the vest for many years. Let's face it, there are those who don't consider writing (especially creative writing) as a valid career choice. I hid my passion for writing, knowing that I would be laughed at or ridiculed. But over the years, I let it slip now and then that it was something I loved. My two older daughters were my first biggest fans after I allowed them to read a partial young adult paranormal romance I'd written. But, lack of self-esteem being what it is, I put it away, and there it sat for years.
I moved on with life, but the writing bug never left.
In 2018, I left a great job and a great boss (hi Melissa!) for reasons that had nothing to do with writing. But, as a stay-at-home homeschool mom of a very independent learner, I needed something to do.
So, I started my Master's with the intent to one day teach English. But, wow! I have grown in ways I never thought possible through the process.
My journey has been so incredibly rewarding on several levels. I made friends early on with some of my classmates and we remain in touch even now (hi Krista and Sayword!). And I learned what Imposter Syndrome is. It's a real thing and something many of us creative writers struggle with. But, through my Master's journey, I've overcome that - mostly.
I learned in an 18-month period things that would have taken me years to learn otherwise. Genres, tropes, critiquing and workshopping, the craft of writing, the publishing industry, author platforms, and even about writing non-fiction. I've read so many genres that are completely opposite of what I write and learned to step outside my comfort zone.
And most of all, I've come out of the closet.
Most of my friends and family know now that I'm a writer. (It took me a while to admit that even to myself - that I'm a writer.) They know I write novels and stories. And while some may not understand it still, I've received a lot of support where I didn't think there would be.
I'm so proud of myself for pursuing my passion in such an open way - pursuing a Master's in Creative Writing. It's been a lot of hard work - and I've learned not to let those business majors try to sell me short! Just because it's creative, doesn't mean it has any less value.
I have one more term left! This is where I wrap things up and make revisions on my thesis novel and earn my Master's certificate in online teaching. I feel this chapter of my life coming to a close but I'm not sad. I'm excited because I know the next chapter of my life as not only a writer but an author, is just around the corner.
Life as a student, creative or otherwise, is not always easy. But the rewards, both internal and external, far outweigh the challenges. I've pushed myself in ways that have spurred my growth both personally and as a writer.
Thank you to all those who have been on this journey with me. And to those who are thinking of pursuing your passion, DO IT! Don't waste another day wondering if you're good enough or what people will think of you. You ARE good enough, and who cares what they think!
The rewards are yours for the taking!