So week two finished of Psychology 108. Very interesting stuff, indeed. I aced my paper, which pleased me greatly, as I have not written a formal paper since well, high school. I see a ‘College Composition’ on my transfer credits, but that was easily sixteen years ago, and probably MLA style anyways. This paper was APA style, and I pretty much just made sure every rule was followed and I didn’t directly plagiarize or misquote anything. Since my general grammar is pretty good, it came out amazing (at least to me).
This grade was vindicated further by the long announcement the professor gave regarding the lack of grammar skills and effort from other submissions, although she didn’t phrase it that way. She provided a list of the common errors, and then limited the length of subsequent papers to speed up her grading times. Except I had made none of these errors, and a 100 of 100 on the paper. Made me feel pretty good knowing I did something well without relevant prior experience.
This most recent week required a PowerPoint presentation, although not one actually presented. I’ve never used PowerPoint before, but it was pretty straightforward. I prepared 5 slides, with an intro slide and a reference slide, 7 total. Dark background, light easy-to-ready numbers, no fancy stuff at all except a clean and neat appearance, with some clipart for a bit of contrast. I was happy, but we’ll see when she grades it.
Already I can see development in my education. I work harder, concentrate harder, and research & read more. Next term begins the first writing class, Intro to Creative Writing. It seems to cover a broad range of creative writing, which means I will have to do poetry. I have literally zero interest in poetry, however I will dive right in, as anything creative is progress forward. I shall embarrass myself willingly by posting everything I write, both here and at Writing.com.
Following that term, I’ve registered for the first Fiction Writing Workshop. This really excites me. I will be actively writing and learning, and I can’t wait. I’m confident I will do well, and actually I have been filling some of my free time with some grammar exercises at Owl Purdue, just to freshen up. I know HOW to do something things, but the terms themselves fail me. If I am to have any credibility, I need to know EVERYTHING. 🙂
You know, I read somewhere that writers tend to be egotistical. I’ve been trying hard not to be, as I know full well that ten whole months of writing experience puts me just about the bottom of the barrel. However, I keep getting praised, even from strangers smarter than me, sent anonymously, so it’s hard not to swell up a little. I’m dreading the inevitable negativity that will come, as of course “the harder I’ll fall” and all that. My critical reviews were still more than positive, just mainly letting me know I need grammar work.
I probably should talk about that, actually, about my writing history mainly, sparse it may be. Way back in my first iteration of college, I had a dear friend who was an English major. I was a Music major, as at the time I thought I really wanted to teach Music. We spent a lot of time together, and my love for Fantasy fiction came out to her at some point. We brainstormed a book, creating a world with characters based on people we know. The notes were not very long, but the idea and concept latched on to me and I held on to it. However, life happened, and I never wrote anything. In fact, I never wrote at all, with my total writing experience being the required papers for classes. So really, any chance I had to gain the interest or experience to write was squashed a long time ago.
However, something happened.
See, I have another friend, a very dear one (not the same from college, to clarify) since grade school that I talked to quite a bit. We had always stayed in touch, of varying amounts of the years. I had told her about that prior project so long ago and how I always wanted to write it. She informed me that I was wasting my potential, on more than one occasion. During a different discussion, she asked me, “Write me a story.”
So I did.
I used the only reference I had at the time to any sort of plan or plot, and wrote out a couple of chapters off the top of my head, based on the premise from my original pet project so long ago. She liked it so much that she encouraged me to continue the characters. 60k words and 3 months later I had Part One of this grandiose story. Admittedly, my writing was trash. It was horrid really, full of telling-not-showing, adverbs, and myriad other grammatical travesties. The CONCEPT was pretty original, the world was well defined, and the characters (at least in my head, since I knew the whole story) were memorable. It just sucked so bad.
Regardless of how bad it was, I still found a writing website, www.writing.com, and placed the first two chapters up on their free account provided to me. They got great reviews. While I plugged away at this “epic”, I noticed writing.com had some contests. I entered a few, and won. Then I kept entering…and winning. I developed a fan base, got accepted into a higher-level writing group on writing.com, and now with massive amounts of encouragement, I am plodding away at a degree.
A complete turnaround. I was going to go back to school, sure, but for engineering, or information technology. Perhaps I should have, for practical reasons, as I imagine the median salary for those degrees will blast a novelist’s paycheck out of the water. I can still write a novel while dropping six figures, right? However, I don’t really think of it like that. Why make so much money if I still hate it, why make so much money when I already do alright and getting a degree that’ll wear me out from work overload. I still get the doubts, though, of how stupid I am not going for the big bucks. Nevertheless, writing is fun. I can still do it when I retire. I can create anything, do anything, make anyone do anything I want, I just use words instead of pictures.
Not to sound pretentious, but it’s almost God-like. How’s that for egotistical? 😀
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