I’ve been very quiet on here lately, and this is partly because I’ve had to make some decisions to make – about my career and my writing.
When I started my blog I had so many ideas – I thought I’d post at least twice a week about all sorts of things. But, aside from the excuse of being busy with the kids, the real reason for my infrequent posts is that I’ve had a bad case of blogging stage fright – and that coupled with the uncertainty of where my eventual career was headed has meant that I haven’t really taken the reins and blogged with conviction.
Part of the reason is that I’ve never really decided exactly what I want my blog to be about. My original plan was to write a blog about my writing journey, set goals for myself and experiment with ideas, and possibly write about some of the issues I’ve had to deal with through my memoir writing and the inspirations and issues behind them. But then, I’ve hesitated a few times when it’s looked like I might be doing other things in my life, like training to be a Counsellor, or doing a Psychology conversion course, and wondered whether I ought take the blog in a slightly different direction.
The short version of the last few months is that I was set to start a Psychology MSc in January 2017 (slightly later than I’d planned because the course I’d originally applied to do had its BPS accreditation withdrawn just as I’d begun it, back in October last year). As it got nearer to the course starting, I began to question whether it was actually the right thing to do. I kept thinking back nostalgically to last year and how much I’d enjoyed doing my PG Counselling Certificate, and in the end I made the decision to withdraw from the Psychology to apply to do a part-time PG Counselling Diploma instead. So I looked into volunteering to support my application, and started re-reading Carl Rogers.
Then, around Christmastime, I had a breakthrough with my writing when I began the first draft of a new novel and I didn’t give up halfway through. It made me realise that what I really want to do with my life is write full-time – and at the same time, I want to learn everything I can about the craft.
The resulting surge in commitment and confidence meant that in the New Year, after I attended the interview for the Counselling Diploma and didn’t feel it had gone very well, I finally felt able to put it to my partner and family that maybe I should do an MA in Creative Writing instead. So I bit the bullet and applied to Lancaster University’s distance learning Creative Writing MA, and a few weeks ago I was accepted onto the programme. It was a strange couple of days, because it turned out that I’d also made it onto the Counselling course too, and I was in the tricky (but enviable) position of having to choose between the two. I know I’d have enjoyed the Counselling, and would have put all my resources into it, but ultimately, I also know I’ve made the right decision choosing my writing.
I’m really looking forward to spending two years working on my memoir, learning lots about myself as a writer, reader and editor, and connecting with other passionate writers too. I now have permission to spend long hours doing the one thing I love most in the world, and I still keep pinching myself to check I’m not dreaming.
As for the blog, it’s still a work in progress, I still have blogging stage fright, but hopefully I’ll find plenty to write about in the coming months and years.