As of Saturday August 11, 2012 my self-imposed scholarly imprisonment ended. The shackles were removed and I became a free woman once again. Don’t get me wrong, I love school. I thoroughly enjoyed undergrad, my one-year stint in law school (lie) and my recently completed masters program, I just hate being confined to drone writing. Technical, Academic, whatever you want to call it. If you have a post-graduate degree or have spent anytime in a program (non MFA creative writing) you know what I am talking about. It is crafted through hours of research and held to professors unreasonable academic standards that usually don’t include individual stylization.
- “Miss. O’Connor you are too verbose.”
- “Miss O’Connor make sure your thoughts are clear and concise.”
- “Miss O’Connor there is a path you must take the reader on and you may not stray from that path or you will be tarred, feathered and sent back to your family sans degree and shamed for the rest of eternity…oh, and NO CONTRACTIONS!”
True story. Okay the last one might be a slight exaggeration…there was no feathering involved, but they definitely tarred me – or was that scarred? Anyway, as of Saturday, I am no longer writing with quivering hands and Microsoft Word is now a program I can open without sweating profusely. I have earned my freedom. I hold a MS in Corporate Communications and am free to write creatively, letting my imagination flow freely from my head onto paper.
Look, it’s (notice the contraction :-)) not that I am unable to draft a great academic paper (my GPA proves that I am totally capable) it’s just that I don’t want to. I want to be free to create and mold my words to meet my needs, not that of some PhD who is itching for a reason to beat me up verbally because his TA spilled his Grande non-fat, double-shot, Café Mocha on his keyboard. And now I can.
So, back to work I go editing my book and writing my blog. Happy, content and hopelessly searching for a way to make money doing the thing I love most…writing. I have to pay back those student loans after all.