This year while Reese is earning his MBA, I'll be spending my time on a different journey - a literary one. Writing has long been a passion of mine and this year I have the privilege of finally being able to dedicate quite a bit of my time to being a writer.
Leading up to this adventure I was both excited and uneasy with this next year. My excitement is easily explained - I'm spending a year living in Scotland with my husband and dogs while I write. It's a dream. But at the same time, this is fairly uncharted territory for me. Ever since I was sixteen I've had some sort of income, be it from babysitting, working odd jobs, working at my university, and finally working in marketing. This year, my job title is (currently unpaid) writer. And that is an adjustment for me. So to try and combat my anxiety about this new change, I put my project management skills to good use and came up with a two-part plan. I decided honing my craft and (eventually) getting published is my goal. My original plan to achieve this looked a little different, but I quite like the one I've come up with.
Part one is actual course work. Before we moved I looked for short term classes and writer's groups and retreats that I could benefit from and found quite a few in Edinburgh and elsewhere in Scotland. This first quarter, if you will, will be my busiest. I am signed up for two short courses at The University of Edinburgh and two writers retreats later on in the year. Both will give me the opportunity to meet up with other writers, pick their brains, learn from them, and get feedback on my work. I hope to take some additional courses in the winter and spring as well, but for now the courses I have set up are a good start.
The second part is by my design. There's no two ways around it - I work best with deadlines. So I made myself some deadlines. I created a syllabus with writing assignments inspired by previous professors and specific readings so I can learn from some of the best. So from now until next September, I'm on the clock and I know it.
But still, whenever I sit down to write I feel a little like Ted Mosby in when he starts Mosbius Designs. I don't want to forget about the weight of the books, if you will. I worked really hard this last year to give myself this opportunity, but the last couple of weeks I can't help but think, what if I blow it? I do not want this to turn into a lost opportunity and write nonsense or binge watch shows on Netflix because I was too overwhelmed to start writing.
Cognitively, I know that the best way to overcome this particular anxiety of mine is by taking action. Just write (this blog might be a bit of a forcing function). But even still, my fingers still sometimes feel a bit frozen when they approach the keyboard.