I’m not doing an MA. I was going to, I really really was, and seem to have sacrificed both my marriage certificate and birth certificate in the process of applying for the money to do it (thanks Student Loans Company! Like those things aren’t useful at all!) But, just before I was going to start, I got to spend a week “working on my novel” at an Arvon centre (I left my children all week, but I did not sleep) and realised that I want to write “my novel” rather than a lot of essays and creative writing to discuss in workshops.

That’s not to say that the essays and writing for workshops wouldn’t be good for me, that I don’t have everything to learn about it all, just that, argh, there really is only so much time, and writing a novel for my own ends would definitely be the first thing to sack off, in favour of seminar prep or whatever the fuck you have to do for an MA in Creative Writing.

[I raise my eyebrow and say “oh really?” with the best of them when people say they don’t “have time” for something, but, christ, the finite time struggle is real. I need to work, and have some kind of alone time, and some writing time, and some freelance writing for money time, and I need to give B time for some of the above too. Also, I have children, so I need time to plan meals and listen to H&E’s reading and write enthusiastic comments in their reading journals, possibly with cheerful little smiley stars if I feel particularly keen. I need to think about where H’s football match is at the weekend and phone the doctor to book flu jabs. I need to wander around with Penny, as she marches and sings. “Yes please,” she says, asked anything.]

And since I have (or did have, two weeks ago) the motivation and feeling that all-is-not-shite, I thought I should make the most of it and crack on with “my novel”. (Honestly, I took it out of speech marks for the week I was at Arvon. I read stuff, out loud, to a room of people who did not laugh at me and said it was good and I believed them. I wish I felt like that now.) Just another 30,000 words or so and I’ll have a draft! Then I can get on with deleting the whole thing and ending up with nothing! Woohoo!

I remain satisfied with the no-MA decision. But also, fuck, now I’m not doing an MA and I have real reservations about my ability to write and what am I doing with my life? Isn’t it time to stop having this conversation with myself in my blog?

I’m going to do a PGCE and get a full time teaching job so I have no time to think about myself or write. I really am. (I’m not.)

Also I’ve hurt my hip so can barely self-medicate my annoying self-reflection by running.

Thank Christ I remembered my blog.

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