A Look Back at First Semester: Sona’s Finding Her Balance

balance A Look Back at First Semester: Sona’s Finding Her Balance

My theme for first semester? Much too much. Much too much work, much too much reading, much too much paper-writing, much too much time spent chasing after my baby. Colds, the flu, Levithan-worthy paper-induced stupors. Panels and workshops and readings, oh my. Much too much of everything.

And much too little time spent writing.

Don’t get me wrong. I loved every minute of it.

But as I do for everything, I had big expectations for first semester. Over-blown, over-ambitious, lofty goals. That is just my way. Big dreams, always. And fire, sure. But this time, I think, maybe I took on more than even I, in my typically Type A way, could manage.

A baby, for starters. A beautiful, exciting, enthralling and exhausting experience. She’s so fun, but boy does she take up a lot of energy. The fix: as much as it pains me, Kavi’s going to daycare fulltime. I honestly need the few extra hours a day she’ll be there to actually write. And the time that I spend with her can really be Kavi time. At the New School, I have this once-in-lifetime opportunity to really focus on this goal, this phantom thing I’ve been hopin’ and dreamin’ about for years. It’s now or never. I better make the most of it.

Work. To make a good dent in my apparently crippling grad school debt as I go along, I decided to amp it up. I’m about two years into building my own writing business, and happily, things are going well. But feast or famine is the nature of this beast. And so last semester, I took on a lot — too much — because I could. It hurt. So now it’s time to refocus here on working smarter, being more strategic, and learning, despite the pinch, to sometimes say no.

School. It’s been so energizing and enthralling, getting to know my classmates and their work, being focused on the craft of writing, delving into the canon of teen fiction under the wise tutelage of none other than David Levithan himself. But boy, did first semester kick my ass. Granted, it needed kicking. Still, one thing I most wanted out of my time at the New School — and didn’t give myself — was the concentrated writing time. As my New Year’s Writing Resolutions state, that all changes this semester. I can’t wait.

An education. Sure, I already said school. But between being involved with Teen Writers Bloc and all the readings and events we’ve been going to, I feel like I’ve learned a profound amount already about the way “writing as a career” actually works. Libba Bray. Rachel Cohn. Scott Westerfeld. Alumni like Coe Booth and Jenny Han. New York City is teeming with teen authors who are all about sharing their insights and experiences. There’s a real sense of community amongst them (and amongst us, already!). It’s overwhelming. And it’s awesome. And I can’t wait to be a part of it all.

Image courtesy Pink Sherbet Photography/Flickr

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