Getting Serious

This is a post I wrote a couple of weeks ago–I thought I had published it, but I hadn’t. Instead of discarding it, I’m going to share it with you now, as well as something wonderful that happened only a few days after I wrote it: After a few months on a waitlist for the creative writing class at my university (a class that is in very high demand and is difficult to get into), I made it into the class, and I’ll be starting next Monday! As the saying goes, “When the student is ready, the teacher appears.” 

How do you know when it’s time to get serious?

I’ve been debating on what to post today. I’ve been thinking a lot about where my writing is going and where it needs to go.

Lately, for some reason, a lot of my old writing has resurfaced; I’ve been finding and reading stuff I forgot I even wrote. And I’ve realized something. I keep feeling like I’m in the beginning of my writing–the “love of learning” phase of my writing, one might say. I haven’t subjected myself to a really rigorous curriculum of learning to write because I’ve felt that I’m not ready for it yet, that I want to get comfortable writing before I can do that.

But now I’m beginning to think that I’ve been wrong. Maybe now is exactly the time for me to seek out a mentor–preferably one I can converse with, but at the very least a writer I can learn from, whether I can have real conversations with them or not. I’ve had a more prolific beginning than I’ve realized. I had a conversation this week that got me thinking, am I really serious about learning to write right now? Immediate answer: No, I’m not. And then the inevitable question: Why on earth not?

I love to write. I mean, writing is not always a comfortable, easy-breezy thing for me, but I can’t just go around saying that I’m still teaching myself to love it. I totally do. But I’m not going to become a great writer with nothing but love. Maybe, if I really stuck to it for many, many years, I could become a good writer. But not a great writer. I need guidance, direction, and someone to be accountable to.

So this is my leap of humility. It’s time to get serious. It’s time to find a mentor.

To end on a happy note, I’ll leave you with a very silly poem that I wrote on a whim a couple of years ago:


“I literally hate him!” she said into the phone,
“I want to kill him–literally!” in a light, annoyed tone.
Meanwhile, her friend on the other end of the line
Had a sudden vision flash through her mind.

She literally imagined the scene of the crime,
The victim literally lying in a pile of grime,
A blood-stained knife, literally inches from his head,
used to cut his throat–or maybe stab him instead
literally right through the heart.
Or perhaps, even worse–he was literally hung!
From the rafters, a rope was literally strung,
end tied in a noose, wrapped round his throat;
while his corpse literally hangs there, the murderer gloats.
The murderer–literally, her own best friend!
If the cops found out, this literally might be the end.

“Are you still there?” the murderer literally said;
rather than answer, her friend hung up instead.
With pale face and literally shaking hands,
she vowed never to give in to that murderer’s demands.

I literally saw it all with my own eyes.
Literally, it’s a true story–cross my heart, hope to die.

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