The Story Begins

About a month ago, my friend Esther tweeted me a link to an online writing course in which she had just enrolled. I think you should sign up with me, she said. It was called Story 101, a ten-week writing course about “finding your voice.” Each week had a different theme with assignments and discussion topics. It looked like something that could really benefit me.

I’ve considered going back to school a hundred times, but don’t know what I could go for that would significantly improve my life or justify the sacrifices involved. Most recently I rejected the idea because my main work-oriented goal is to grow as a writer, and I don’t necessarily need a degree for that. Well, shortly after I came to that conclusion, this opportunity arrived. But I was (justifiably) concerned about having adequate time and energy to commit 110% to the course – the old perfectionism problem. Finally my sister said, “Even if you can’t do A-plus work, you’ll still get something out of this. Just do what you can.” How revolutionary. I also realized that if I’m ever going to take myself seriously as a writer, I’ll have to get over my mindset that investing money or significant time into my writing is too self-indulgent. And the world won’t end if I sometimes need to prioritize the course over other things. If I was, say, getting an MBA, no one would blink at me letting some things slide to focus on schoolwork. But even though I won’t have any conventional marks of success or achievement at the end of this course, it will still be valuable TO ME. This is my “grad school”… or at least the start of it.

So, I signed up, and the course starts on July 1. As in next Monday. I know I need some risk and challenge in my life, but at this eleventh hour I feel mostly apprehensive and wonder what I got myself into. I’m still pretty fuzzy on the day-to-day details of the class. Mainly, I’m worried that even though it’s supposed to be about finding and clarifying your own voice, there’ll be a lot of pressure to conform to a certain kind of voice (which many of the enrollees already seem to share). I’m doing this to become a better me, not to learn how to better imitate someone else. Maybe fighting to remain myself will be another learning experience (although I feel like I’m already doing that constantly). Who knows. Regardless, I’m thankful to have a friend in it with me.

Anyway, I’m sure I’ll be glad I did Story 101. It’s just the anticipation that’s agonizing. Over the next few months, I’m sure I’ll have some posts spawned by my assignments or the course in general. I’ll also need all the encouragement and support I can get. So I wanted to mention it here.

About Brenda W.

Christian. Memphian. Reader. Writer. True blue Tiger fan. Lover of shoes, the ocean, adventure, and McAlister's iced tea. View all posts by Brenda W. →
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13 Responses to The Story Begins

  1. whitt_amy says:

    That’s great!!! Hope it goes well and you get LOTS out of it.

  2. Alyssa says:

    This is amazing!!! You are going to be amazing at this :) I hope you give some snippets of your writing!!

  3. Erin Perry says:

    Whoa! That sounds amazing! I am sure that you will love it and I can’t wait to hear more.

  4. Milissa says:

    Awesome. If I was there, I’d take the class with you. I can’t wait to hear about it. I’m sure you will learn something & hopefully it will be fun. I mean you’re writing…so that makes the whole thing worth it. :)

  5. Good job! Proud of you!

  6. starandseen says:

    Interesting thoughts about not needing a degree to become a better writer. But what about a degree in English or journalism? How about becoming an editor? It’s a great position for people who like to read and can write.

    Either way, I think it’s great you’re taking the class. Being nervous makes sense, but you’ll be fine! Plus you’ll probably develop a healthy tolerance from writing about topics you don’t fancy. And yes, please share some of the writing topics with us!

    • I would LOVE to be a journalist or editor, but there’s not much work out there anymore. At the moment I can’t afford to get a degree in a dying field. :( I’ve been trying to get more editing experience on the side, but haven’t had much success.

      Thanks for the support!

  7. Hi Brenda – stopping by to say hi as you did on my blog and as I scanned your previous post I saw the Memphis Tigers pictures. You said you grew up here in S Florida. Are you living in Memphis now? That’s crazy because we were there before coming back to FL. Our son stayed with his job there. It’s a beautiful area but we never got past not having the ocean near. I have the same anxieties you do about the class and am ready to get it started to hopefully get over some of that! Good to meet you.

  8. sarah says:

    I think it’s a perfect opportunity for you! And no matter how it ends up at the end of ten week, I think you’ll be very happy you did and any kind of writing that comes out of it will be from you and probably very good for you. :D I’m excited for you and to see how you feel at the end!

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