Back when I was married, I had a certain amount of degree envy. My hyper-intelligent ex has either 2 or 3 Master’s degrees, a PhD, and a bunch of post doctoral education. I found myself wanting more and more degrees to reduce the “escalation dominance” of his education over mine.
Well, I learned lots. I mainly learned that I have a serious addiction to taking classes.
I can’t help myself. It’s a madness. My friends look at me in sorrow, asking “do you need to do this? Really?” One friend even held a mini intervention for me when I’d signed up for too many at once.
I’ve been toying in the back of my head with going back to school, with doing a degree in counselling, or a MFA, which would look nicely out of place on my wall of nursing and epidemiology degrees. I’d enjoy the contrast.
It’s tempting. The thought of testing myself against the teachers, picking new thoughts out of their brains, plunging into in depth study of writing or whatever. It is so lovely learning something new.
Not so lovely paying for it, or trying to make my unreliable MS brain perform on cue. It needs some wiggle room.
Then I wondered…am I using this as a form of procrastination, as another way to avoid doing the actual writing I have planned? I did some more research, using the excellent Poets and Writers, especially in the area of a MFA in creative non-fiction. (This was because there’s a new program at King’s College in this area and I like King’s, my so goes there, and it could be fun to go to classes right her in town. Pus the program has placements in New York and Toronto so you hang out with local publishers and such. It sounds really good. And most of my publications have been in non-fiction, creative or less so).
I floated the idea past a few friends, and one of them was fierce enough to say what was echoed in the Poets and Writers magazine. “Just write the damn book!” she said.
And she’s right.
So I took the money I’d have spent on my application and added another week at my writer’s cottage on the Northumberland Strait. I’m distracted with moving for the next few weeks, but after that it’s head down and write and rewrite. By the end of that time, I hope to have a product ready to send out – in fact two. A non-fiction book proposal with my co-writer Karen K. on Intimacy and Multiple Sclerosis, and a novel based on my my latest 3daynovel submission. More on that later as we all know plots are sneaky things and can slip away if you chase them too hard.
The cottage will be perfect. Owned and cherished by two writer/artist friends, the vibes are good, there’s a table overlooking the sea, and there’s no Internet!
Of course, I am still signed up for classes. I only need two more for my certificate from Gotham Writers Workshop. Plus one in writing a non-fiction book proposal. Cleverly, I have the last few classes scheduled for while I’m in the cottage. But I’m not going to do the MFA…
Instead, I’m going to write.