Why I want to study Creative Writing even if it means being poor

That Huge Lecture Theatre!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.

3 thoughts on “Why I want to study Creative Writing even if it means being poor

  1. Hope all goes well for you Ben and you find the fine point of balancing all your passionate interests. This is who you are. Celebrate it.
    Adam B @revhappiness

  2. Congratulations on your new course. Judging by your posts recently I think this is exactly what you need. I think that learning and talking with like minded people will give you confidence and inspiration. If you’re really worried about where it will lead you, one thing you could perhaps consider, is doing a grad. dip afterwards (one full time year) in teaching. Something to think about maybe. :)

    Hopefully you will post some of your work here – once you’ve handed it in and its been marked of course – so we can read it too.

  3. Best of luck with it. I would say, out of personal experience, that you definetely need a well organised schedule to what you do from the very beginning, and stick to it so that it becomes routine, and you just pick up study naturally over time. Otherwise, and especially if you are of an inquiring mind and enjoy the company of books, you will tend to spend far too much time wandering around the library, picking up interesting books when you should be looking at relevant ones. Or feeling that you haven’t got enough research for an assesment, and then spreading far too wide a net for research and wasting time when it should be very precise. This can also happen with the internet, where procrastination masquerading as a short ‘break’ from resarch can turn into hours wasted- internet addicts, beware. Plus there is all the other distractions that uni plentifully offers.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s