learning a lot, “ah-ha” moments, and feeling real

As of last night, I am now 1/5* of the way through my courses at the University of Chicago’s Graham School Writer’s Studio.

Also, as of last night I am on summer break.

The last few weeks of the quarter did not go as I would have hoped, but only in the sense that I just didn’t push myself as hard as I could/should have to get writing done. I had a lot going on, and my body and health was pushed pretty hard, but I wasn’t able to focus on what I wanted to. Which is why over the summer I’ll be weeding out some of the things I’m involved in to get ready for my class in the fall.

Over the course of these past couple months, I’ve learned a lot about myself and my writing. For one, I suck at discipline. Secondly, I’m a good writer. I might sound like a conceded, arrogant douche for saying such, but it’s true. And for the first time in a very long while, I’ve felt like I was in a good place and where I needed to be in regards to my writing.

I started a new story that has a lot of potential. A few weeks ago I had an “ah-ha” moment in a story I started two years ago. I’ve got an idea brewing for a short story series, as well as another smaller project. I’m starting to feel like, more and more, that “writer” can be a do-able career choice.

Heck. I submitted my first story to a literary magazine. I am scared to death and excited all at the same time. I’m actually wanting to share my writing with others, rather than keeping it all locked up in files and notebooks.

I’ve described myself as a “writer and designer” for years now. But now it feels real.

I also just want to add that recently I’ve seen a lot of friends making big, and really awesome career changes and moves. People starting their own business, incorporating… They’re paving their own paths, and I’m so excited and proud of them. There are so many awesome projects happening right now, and I just wish I could give a huge high-five to everyone who made that first, scary step.

*Maybe 1/6? The set up is weird. I have 4 core workshops (one per quarter), then 2 electives I have to complete (in the last week or so of the quarter), and then at the end I’ve got a quarter and half “tutorial” where I work on my final project (100-150 pages of stories). It’s a 2-year program with summers off…