Sunday, May 15, 2011

PhD or Novel. Find Your Passion. Or Is It An Addiction?

PhD or Novel? Find Your Passion. Or Is It an Addiction?

                My daughter graduated college this weekend.  She went to a prestigious university in the Northeast.  I won’t say which one because it’s her life and not mine, so I won’t blast it on the blog, Twitter or Facebook.  She will be moving on to an equally prestigious university as a PhD candidate in a specialty area of psychology.  We are beyond proud of her.

                When I was younger, I accumulated two Masters degrees plus some additional credits beyond that.  One of my degrees was a Masters in Business Administration; the other was a Masters of Science in Education. I worked on Wall Street for a decade and during that time no one asked me if I intended to get a doctorate. It had no added value. When my children were young, I returned to education as a teacher. I was secure enough, both financially and in myself to leave the glitz of Wall Street behind (highly overrated) so that I could have a schedule that was in sync with my children.  As a teacher, many colleagues asked if I intended to pursue a doctorate.  My answer was that I could not imagine having the time to research and write the required dissertation. 

                Now several years later, I have a completed manuscript, Dark Dealings, approximately 86,000 words, and two other WIPs, Dark Moon, the sequel to Dark Dealings, and Ogham Court, based on minor characters from Dark Dealings. It has involved more words and only slightly less research than would have been needed to complete a doctorate.
                What have I gotten from all of this is: it wasn’t that I didn’t have the time when my children were small, although I have more now.  It was that I really wasn’t passionate about getting my dissertation.  I am passionate about fiction writing, both my own and helping others, who are equally committed.   If I was passionate, I would have found time.  Yes, it might have taken me longer than the norm, but I would have done it.  I wonder if the writing bug had bitten me back then, would I be further along than I am now.  Of well, water under the bridge.

                It sounds corny but you have to find your passion.  When you do, you will find time.  It may only be an hour three times a week.  In the beginning you may only manage 1000-1500 words a week. But you will do it because you cannot dismiss it as easily as I did the doctorate.  I could not stop writing now.   

                Hello everyone, my name is Karen and I’m a writer.