This is December's post of Alex Cavanaugh's Insecure Writer's Support Group. For links to other posts on writing related, anxiety-type topics, click here.
Last spring, Grub Street offered a novel writing course locally, and I jumped at the chance to take it, though not without guilt. When I got down to it, I could afford to pay for the class, but was it right to spend that kind of money on myself? What would I have to show for it? Nothing I could touch or store on a shelf. But then I remembered something that helped me rationalize. I’d written an article several months earlier and payment wasn’t scheduled until publication, the month the class started. My fee would cover the Grub Street cost. Bazinga. I ran to the computer to pay.
When that class ended, the teacher asked if we would be interested in taking another session. As much as I wanted to, dollar-sign guilt fluttered up again. But get this. The same week, a local editor asked me to write another article, this time with a much closer publication date. Yeehaa! Sign me up.
So now, I'm finished with session two. Grub Street is offering another class after the beginning of the year. They switch things up and focus on different aspects of novel writing so it will cover new material. I know how much this effort is helping me improve, so this time when the teacher asked who’d be interested, I raised my hand. I didn’t even consider that the bill would come due at holiday time.
So here’s the synchronicity. When life happened last winter and I had to take on more hours at work, I scaled way back on pitching articles, or shopping myself as a freelancer. Anything that comes my way is gravy right now. So here I am, all, “Damn the guilt, I’m paying for the third class anyway” when I get an email from the same editor asking for another article.
Serve me up some mashed potatoes. We start back January 13.