Wednesday, July 7, 2010


Guys, I really have nothing to report this week in terms of progress on my novel or in my reading... I added about 2k to The Goddess of Vengeance Wore Pink Galoshes, and I'm still reading Wally Lamb's The Hour I First Believed. Oh! and I received A Bad Day For Pretty from The Blood Red Pencil, my recent give-away win, which I can't wait to read.

But I've been having a good time with husband & friends, celebrating fourth of July and my birthday. And cleaning my house, which MJ did while I was gone, but it's, well, man-clean.

I did make a decision which affects my writing indirectly.  I'm one class, one thesis away from getting my Master's. Getting my MS part-time is an odyssey that began in the spring semester of 2008, and I expect to wrap my degree up now in spring 2011.  I've been debating whether or not to delay finishing my degree in order to obtain a graduate-level certificate from Boston University as well, which would be another year.  While it makes sense career-wise, being in school indefinitely is high-cost in terms of my writing time.

I wish I could do everything. In my dream world, I'd have a spotless house, eat only organic/humanely raised/localvore food and never McDonald's, always have a cute outfit and pulled-together makeup, go to school part-time while rocking my full-time job and still have time to churn out a novel every six months (while also doing volunteer work and working out six days a week and having a social life and blogging, of course).  And I'd be able to walk in high heels without looking vaguely intoxicated.

But this is sooo not that dream world. 

So I'm going to finish up my formal schooling - for the time being - in spring 2011.  Three years is a long time to always be taking a class (or two) in addition to my rather demanding full-time job. It's been a practical choice, but it's time to close that chapter and make my dreams the focus of my non-working hours for a while.

What sacrifices do you make for your dreams, or what steps towards your dreams do you find yourself sacrificing in the scrap of real life?


Karen Strong said...

Ah, I've been where you were. I had a full-time job, went to grad school AND took writing Saturday writing classes.

It was totally crazy!

It was difficult but I had to make some choices. I decided to focus on grad school and then when I graduated, my writing was waiting there for me and I was able to finish my first novel.

Every one has to make their own decision on what to tackle but one thing that I've learned (the hard way) is that you can't do it all at once.

But the writing will always be there waiting for you.

Good luck!

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Old Kitty said...

Well done with your WIP!!

And Happy Birthday!!!!

And GOOD LUCK with your studies! As long as you are happy with what you've decided is what matters.

I would love to permanently live in dream worlds too but yes, real life intrudes and the only way I can make the most of it is to make the best of it! I've learned through long hard and painful experiences to leave what makes me unhappy and that I can never please everyone all at once every time! And there are so many courses I'd love to do but money stops me so I need to try and see what I can do instead when it comes to progressing (or not) with my writing. I refuse to let financial constraints impair me! So I have to be imaginative with how I do this. And this is where I think blogworld is so amazing. There is so much good (free) and considered advice and competitions and writing blogfests to keep my mind ticking over while I save up!

I guess I'm at the stage where I'm trying to be friends with real life or at least trying to work my way round it!

Take care

Matthew Rush said...

Happy Birthday!

Jen said...

Happy Birthday!!

I've given up rest and some social time, I don't spend as much time with friends now because I want to focus on making my writing stronger. I'm glad they understand and support me though!

MBW aka Olleymae said...

Wow! How do you do all that? It's hard enough for me to balance work and writing!

Erin Kane Spock said...

I'm a teacher and it's summer break -- so for 2 months I'm a full time author. It sucks for my kids because I'm constantly attached to a computer. So I guess I'm sacrificing the now time with my children (Cat's in the cradle...). But if/when the dream comes true, I'll be a full time author and home more for them. I don't know. I'm just blessed that writing is something I love, so my soul is not swallowed up by resigned survival.
Good luck. Persevere.

Guinevere said...

Karen, that is so true (that the writing will be there). It's good to hear from someone else who's been down the crazy, busy road I'm on now! Thanks!

Guinevere said...

Thanks, Old Kitty! You make a great point about opportunities in the blogosphere. I love formal education (even if I'm whingeing a lot about my current state of overwork, lol) and I wish I could take every writing class within driving distance... but I have to settle, for the most part, for reading great books on writing and for the wonderful advice and exercises in the blogosphere!

Jemi Fraser said...

I love your dream world! Can I share? :)

I just started thinking about writing for publication a year and a half ago. I work full time and have a hubby & kids. So I think the biggest sacrifice has been sleep :)

Happy Birthday!!

Guinevere said...

Thanks Matthew!

Thanks Jen! It's great that your friends are so understanding, even though I imagine it's really tough to give up social time to write!

Guinevere said...

MBW, sometimes, not very well. lol. I've had lots of practice though. In college, I balanced a ROTC scholarship (which kept me as busy as a part-time job with PT, drill and labs and collateral duties), varsity sports (one each season), and a minimum of 21 credits a semester, usually more... I've found I'm happier busier, to a certain extent. But all the things that are simultaneously manageable always converge into a few disastrous days when everything needs to be a priority, too! That's why I realize sometimes that I do need to relax a little...

Guinevere said...

Erin, that always seems to me like one of the cool things about being a teacher - the possibility of that summer to pursue other interests! That's so cool. And your kids will survive and thrive, even if you need some you time for the writing, I'm sure. :)

Guinevere said...

Thanks Jemi! And sleep is one thing I hate having to sacrifice, so I'm impressed. ;) you're welcome to share in my dream world. lol.

Donna Hole said...

I sacrificed some children time, a husband and some financial support to get me BA in social work.

It was a struggle, and now I'm 35k into student loans which the payments have seriously ballooned on, but honestly, it was totally worth it.

Most of my co-workers have been in their jobs a long time, and probably won't advance higher. But I'm finding a whole world open to me, not only in this career, but in other venues also. I'm getting up there in age, but it's nice to know I haven't hit the ceiling many younger people I associate with have.

Finish your degree(s) but remember; someday you gotta make that education pay YOU.


Theresa Milstein said...

I just came over from Matthew's blog.

Good luck with grad school. It's not easy.

When I got my certification to teach, I put off actually teaching while my children were small. Now I'm having a hard time getting a job because of the big break.