Recently I posted some exciting news on social media. That news being this: I’m going back to school beginning fall 2014. When I complete my program, I’ll have a Masters of Science in Organizational Performance & Workplace Learning (OPWL) from Boise State University (BSU). I’m really excited about it. Go Broncos!
I know some of you may be wondering: don’t you want to be an author? What’s all this nonsense about going back to school? Why aren’t you going for a creative writing, English or journalism degree? Well, I’ll tell you. I’ve been working (professionally) for the last 7 years in a training department, and I’ve gained a lot of knowledge and insight as a result – about myself as well as my job. I love learning, technology and sharing my knowledge with others. I could have gone back to school for any one of the degrees listed above, but I feel my journey lies in the wide world of Instructional Design and eLearning. It’s fun for me, and I very much want to have fun at my job. I hear “don’t quit your day job” a lot, and I don’t intend to… I’m just going to upgrade it.
Does this mean I’ve given up on my dream of ever becoming a published author? No, not at all. Writing has always been a passion of mine, and if someone were to tell me tomorrow that they wanted to publish my book and pay me to write full time, I’d be on it like white on rice. But that isn’t likely to happen without a lot more work on my part. Writing is hard work, plain and simple, and my craft isn’t quite ready for human consumption.
So my plan is to go back to school and get my Masters, which will allow me to get a better job doing something I really enjoy until I manage to convince an agent that I’m worthy of the golden halls of publication (joke’s on them!) and they in turn convince someone to publish my book. Even then, that’s only going to be one book – which likely won’t be an overnight best seller, so I’m going to need to keep up a day job until I can support myself on writing alone. It’s a long road, and I’m trying to prepare myself for it in the best way that I can.
Unfortunately, this means that I’m not going to have a lot of time for fun fiction writing. I’m not quite sure how to work this into my schedule yet, since the classes required for a Masters degree are demanding and on top of it I’ll be working full-time and incorporating a fitness routine. I think it will be best if I set small goals at first – maybe even as small as 200 – 500 words per day – and modify these goals based on my schedule. I’m not going to quit, but progress will be slow.
When you get down to it, a writer writes, and so I’m going to keep writing. We all have things that can get in the way, you just can’t let them. Getting my Masters is what’s right for me, even though it’s going to seem, temporarily, like a hindrance to my writing career. I’m confident I can make it work, and there will be a few weeks between semesters when I can take a breather and get some more writing done.
So that’s the update! Classes start August 25 and the program will take 2 – 3 years to complete. I’m going to continue blogging, though expect my posts to mostly be shorter. Think of them as super-concentrated shots of 200-proof awesome. Hopefully they’ll be more routine as well…. Lately I’ve been lucky to get 1 post a month, which is not quite where I want to be.