3.02.2014

#SOL14 - Et tu, revision?


This is my first semester back in school as a graduate student. A logical career-minded individual might have chosen a masters in education. This definitely would have made the most traditional sense.

I am neither logical nor traditional. My degree is in liberal studies, with a focus in creative writing and gender studies.

I know, right? That's what everyone asks.

What are you going to do with that?

Write. Learn. Think. Play. Explore.

After years of hopping back and forth when trying to choose a program, I realized that if I was going back to school and forking out the cash to do it -- why not do what I've always dreamed?

This doesn't mean I don't love what I do now -- I do.

But when looking at all the options.... this just felt right. And when I go to class each Monday night, I know I am exactly where I am supposed to be.

It's a wonderful feeling. I'm growing. As a writer, sure. But also as a person. And that's invaluable to me.

A couple weeks ago I shared a rough draft that began as a quick write in class. I had never shared my writing with an audience that did not include young writers or teachers, and my professor is both the head of the creative writing department and a published writer. Needless to say, I was overwhelmed with anxiety.

That old fear crept in: who am I to call myself a writer?

I read my three little pages, hearing my own words unsteadily share the story. Halfway through the reading I felt like stopping to apologize for forcing the room to listen to such boring drivel. But I persevered, stumbling over my words along the way. At the end, I placed the pages on my lap and looked up to await the feedback. My heart was beating wildly. Sharing has never been one of my great talents.

My professor looked up at me, a smile on his face.

"That was truly stellar," he began.

Stellar. It's my new favorite word. No lie.

We went around the room and the feedback was overwhelmingly positive. I made a note of the minor changes suggested, my hands still shaking. One of the other students, whose writing I deeply admire, suggested two possible places I might consider for publishing my story.

Stellar.

It was a glorious feeling.

This week our second paper is due, and I chose to continue working on that draft.

Let me tell you. I am not feeling particularly stellar about this story right now.

But I will push through the revising. I will continue searching for the words that tell the truth that lies beneath all the metaphor and grammar and properly structured sentences. I won't give up on this little story.

Because it's a beginning. The first piece I shared, the first class of many, the first writing in a long, long while that resembles the voice that has been mute for far too long. And that my friends, is most definitely stellar.


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