One Class this Term: Feature Writing

5 09 2012

Actually, the class is Communications 435

GOAL: To be published

Even if I’m groaning about all the research required for this class, I very well might have a publishable peice (or three) of writing when the term ends. Furthermore, the professor is assigning query letters and market research as part of the coursework. If I find a market and have a query written, why wouldn’t I pursue publication?

What’s the worst that could happen? Rejection. Oh, yeah, like that’s a new thing. If I’m getting rejected it means I’m putting myself out there. If I’m putting myself out there, I have a chance of being published. Goal attained.

The only thing that’s bothering me about this writing class is that I know it will pull my focus away from writing the novel. I don’t know if I should consider the articles I write as part of the word count for my weekly goals. Of course, if some of these things do get published (Hallelujah!), then those words will count heavily in the progression of my writing career.

It’s a quandary. Ii almost feels like cheating to me. I felt the same way using the word count from my textbooks to accumulate the million words (in two months) for a reading club at the middle school where I work. Why is that? Isn’t my coursework supposed to be building me into a stronger writer? If I’m writing for my classes, those words should count.

Well, maybe the feature stories, but the essays for my literature class definitely should NOT count. Those are mostly responses to what I’ve read and that isn’t creative writing at all.

What’s becoming clear is that I may not have an ounce of creative juice to squeeze out for working on my novel. This is the same thing that has happened since I began my pursuit of the college degree. That goal is coming within reach. Why do I lack the organizational skills for pursuing two epic goals at the same time?

When I start calculating available hours for schoolwork and writing each week, I wonder how I will manage to do both. Everyone knows that getting good grades is at the top of my list. Above getting published? At this juncture in my life, the answer is a resounding “YES.”

What do you think? Should the writing I do for school count toward my daily writing word count goals? Maybe you have some time management tools that would help me accomplish both goals. Please share your genius with the world (or at least the 20 people who read my blog).




One response

5 09 2012

Perhaps you can think of the daily course work like practicing the piano everyday. Once you finish the scales and the sonatinas, then you can carve out a pocket of time to a favorite piece.

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