I want to write. Since I was 13 I've wanted to write something. Later when I was much older and had defined myself a bit more, I wanted to write words that meant something to someone. I never wanted to be the world's most famous, prolific, or rich author. I just wanted to think fine thoughts in my head that interested other people and lay them out on paper. Type them into being. Press my cheeks and nose to the pages and feel and smell my very own words right there on a published book I could hold in my hands. (Oh the very idea of designing a book jacket makes me want to squeal!)
Nowadays I suppose anyone can write a book. I do actually have a manuscript with nearly 55,000 words - sitting on a jump drive. The reason I was able to write like that at that time is because I was in an altered state of heartache - and while it might be a page turner, it's just too sensitive to put out there for me, right now. And somehow the end of that story doesn't ring true for me anymore.
But my desire to write is still there. I want to send messages to the masses because I think I have a lot of things in my head worth saying. I know quite a bit about this life we try to stumble through. Isn't that what's important? Our lives? I am so in tune with the TRUE and REAL and NONFICTION that I cannot make myself think of a fictitious story to write. I can't develop a character that I don't know. I can't presume to know things I've never experienced. There are some really great writers out there who can dream of things they haven't known and research it all and damn near get it right, so right in fact, they get a book deal and a movie deal and somewhere down the line they get to rub noses and elbows with all the rich and famous.
I don't need all that. I don't need to tell a grand tale that elicits a deep emotional response or tries to teach someone else a lesson I never learned for myself. I just want to write.
Looking back, I should have majored in English. Specifically creative writing. I had visions of being a Journalism major when I first began my Freshman year. But my father had doubts about my being able to adequately provide a decent living for myself doing that. So I tried to do something different, but the passion for writing never left me. It's made me frustrated. That's not to say that I don't love what I do and know with all of my heart that my specific path, as strange as it has been, led me straight to where I am right now in this moment. And I'm in a pretty good place. I have a beautiful daughter, a home, two cats, and two degrees sitting somewhere in my garage. I do make a difference in the lives of random people from time to time with what I do for a job. I get to use my brain to solve problems and my heart to soothe the souls of those folks I run into that are hurting. My goodness I've learned so much. My years working with students and now my years working in the emergency room have taught me so much more than I could ever have learned in a classroom.
Yet I have the urge to go back to that place. The classroom. Sit in a desk with a pencil and a notebook scribbling furiously to get every tiny bit of information I can gather. I want to learn how to write. I want to learn how to find that writer deep down inside of me and let her do her thing. I'd love to go back to UGA and grab a another degree: a Bachelor of Arts in English. Reading the course descriptions today made my little heart go pitter patter. Seriously.
If only my heart could figure out how to earn the ten thousand bucks it'll take to buy that degree. I've got the desire and the willpower to "hunker down" like a genuine bulldog and do the work. I'll wear my glasses every day and read all night. But jeez where am I supposed to get ten grand?
When I first went to college at UGA as a Freshman in 1993 it was a little more than six grand for a whole full time year of classes! Fortunately I had scholarships and grants and it didn't cost me one red dime. But I didn't have the wherewithal to be confident enough in myself to really go after what made me tick. I was too worried about scrounging up a decent living, about making sure I could provide for myself and any children I might have. Now I'm 38. Now I know who I am. I know what I can do if I put my mind to it. I believe in myself. I have something to say.
You're thinking, so say it already, right? I'm a Virgo. I must get it right. I must do it perfectly. I want it to be something I can be eternally proud of. So, what is it? That's why I think school would help. I'd have to write so much that it would eventually find its way to the surface. And maybe I'd have a few knowledgeable folks to help me along the way. Professors who know the ins and outs of getting published for real.
First I gotta find ten grand. I really don't want a loan. Too many college kids get trapped into taking loans and having the easy life in college and then BAM it's time to pay it back and they're underemployed or unemployed or the payments are just too high.
I'd love to think of an ingenious way to finally earn for myself something I've always wanted.
To write. Right. And have people read my stuff. All because they care. Maybe because I made them care.