I have toyed with the possibility of returning to college to finish my degree for some time now. The biggest thought is what my major would be. At 40+ I suppose I need to decide what I want to be when I grow up. What is it that really stirs a passion in me? There are some things I enjoy doing, but then there's writing. I love to write. I really, really do. So, if I ever do decide to return to school, I would major in creative writing.
As I was thinking about that a little harder, I did a little bit of research and found an online Beginning Writer's class out of MTSU, a university just about 15 minutes from me. I took a look at the course requirements, etc., and I signed up to take the class.
I had my first assignment yesterday. Nothing to turn in for the approval or disapproval of the instructor as yet, but it was a good assignment at any rate.
There were a couple of brainstorming exercises that made me focus on the "nothingness" of my surroundings and how when focused on the nothingness the brain can explode! Then I was to set a timer and "free write" for five minutes. Free writing is simply typing (or writing) for five minutes with no agenda in mind and no ability to edit. I began my free writing with thoughts on the grandfather clock in my den, which had tick-tocked its way into my brainstorming sessions a few minutes earlier, and somehow morphed and ended with a discussion of my college speech class. How strange that the brain works in such mysterious ways.
We also had to make a list of all the writing we have done over our lives. That is not as easy as one would think. But how cool is it to remember my first creative writing assignment? I never forgot the day that my sixth grade English teacher told us to take a piece of paper and write a story about anything. ANYTHING! This was a monumental moment for me as I can remember where that classroom was located and where my seat was situated. I can tell you that the assignment was given to me on a sunny day and that I had a mimeographed piece of paper to write upon. I can tell you that my story involved space ships and aliens and that I received an "A" on that paper. And I can tell you that moment probably sealed my fate as a writer. I have written other things since that time... magazine articles, promotional materials, playbills and scripts, but I've never felt like I was a writer. Until last night.
I took the class quiz and scored 100% on my first try (okay, so it really was easy, and it was multiple choice... but that's not the point) and finished reading the lesson. The instructor was adamant in stating that I was a writer. (She wasn't speaking specifically to me, but to the class in general) She made it clear that I am not playing at writing... but that I write. Whether I am ever published, I am a writer. In the back of my noggin, I jumped up and down with exhilarated excitement. Why? Because I've always wanted to be a writer. And now, I am finding out that I have always been one.