As I mentioned in a previous post, I’m pretty excited to be studying Creative Writing at RMIT this year. The news of my acceptance was definitely most welcome and I’ve been riding on the confidence ever since. The news alone, that I was accepted into a course than many consider competitive and the best in the country, is a validation of my ability and future potential as a writer. That alone cannot be understated as a major reason for applying.
But I thought I’d talk a little bit more about why I’ve decided to do this, aside from the exciting prospect of student politics, and being involved in activism on campus. The choice is really a dive into the dark. In May last year, I decided I’d probably apply for uni in 2012, after I was made redundant from the office job I’d felt stuck in for around 5 years. That’s a long time for a 25-year-old to hold a full-time job, my first full-time job, and despite my anxiety about wanting to get out, the financial security kept me there until they pushed me out, out into the deep end where surviving financially is a bit daunting at the moment, even whilst working part-time.
The prospect of trying to get by whilst studying full-time is scary. I don’t know what will happen with Centrelink and AusStudy, whether I will find casual work, and how I will fit it in alongside political activism that I just cannot give up. So I thought I better have a bloody good reason for doing this.
But the truth is, the main reason I’m studying writing full-time is a signal to the people around me that this is serious. Not serious as in ‘boring’ serious, but serious as in – it is a major part of who I am and what I want to be doing with my life. It is far more important than any office job I’ve had. And I want the time I spend on writing to reflect that. This isn’t a hobby or something I do on the side. Just like my involvement in revolutionary socialist politics is not a side thing, but also a major part of who I am.
But I’m not just racking up tens of thousands of dollars in debt to convince people that this is important. The benefits of the course, the experience I will get, and the focus on improving my craft are all important. And putting my time in and getting myself into debt over this is probably a signal to myself as well, to make this a priority, alongside politics.
Sometimes I do struggle with thinking the people around me don’t realise that this, being a writer, getting published, and being read is incredibly important to me. I’m not going to give it up for anything. That said, I’m also committed to be being a socialist and not going to give it up either. Sometimes that balancing act is difficult, but it needs to be done.