Sunday, 5 April 2015

Why I Write


"I write because I must. It's not a choice or a pastime, it's an unyielding passion and my calling"- Elizabeth Reyes

Hello and Happy Easter!

One day, I was enjoying a currants roll during a class break when a former classmate from my days as a Spanish undergrad came up to me. We exchanged pleasantries and got to talking. Eventually, she asked how I was doing, which is code for “ah want to mind yuh business”.

I said, “Living life.” She chuckled.

I said, “Working with Dr. Roberts as a Research Assistant.” She nodded, looking mildly impressed.

I said, “And doing my Masters’ in Creative Writing.” Her mouth opened slightly. Her eyebrows knotted in confusion. She looked from me to her hands, speechless.

Then, a look of dismay/shock/pity (disshockity?) crossed her face before she said, “Good luck with that.”

If I had a dollar for every time someone from the Spanish days, or most persons for that matter, reacted like that to my choice of degree, I’d have about ten to fifteen dollars.

Some part of me likes to think that they’re generally baffled and sincerely don’t know what to say or how to react. I mean, how dare I try to turn a hobby into a career? Someone with a degree in Spanish & History should become a teacher, do IR or work at a Ministry. No ifs, buts or maybes.

Another part- let’s call him Sassy Garvin- wants to respond with either: “Wham?” or “Is none ah yuh damn business” or “Is my money paying for half of it” or “Yuh name ain’t Emma or Dexter or Daphne, my decisions ain’t your concern”. Simply put: #ByeFelicia.

I don’t have to justify my decisions to anyone. Much less, a random girl who had one class with me in 2009 and can’t begin to understand The Garvin. Those that matter support me.

But, I’m a Libra meaning the amount of figs given are a lot, but you’ll never know until we write about it. I started beating myself up. What was I thinking when I signed up to do a MFA? Why am I doing this? What am I going to do with this? Am I wasting my time? Why didn’t I go for the Masters in Cultural Studies? Ugh, why am I letting this girl get to me?

For all my apparent randomness, there are legit decision making processes behind almost everything I do, especially something as important as my Masters degree. I’m most certainly not wasting my time. And I can get a Masters in Cultural Studies whenever I want.

But, why am I doing this?

As an answer, I thought back to the beginning of the first class for my Writing course when the lecturer invited us to introduce ourselves. He wanted to know our names, our first degrees, and most importantly, Why We Write.

When it was my turn, I said something about not wanting to wake up at 40, regretful and unhappy with my life, and slit my wrists. No one got my morbid sense of humour, so I tried again.

I’m passionate about writing, and I figure now’s the time to pursue something that I’m passionate about. Aren’t we supposed to do what makes us happy? Writing makes me happy. There’s something about watching your thoughts turn into words on a page, about creating scenarios, about creating a character from the ground up, about expressing that part of yourself that wants to be heard. It’s exhilarating, it's therapeutic, it's my creative outlet. 

Yes, I want to be an author. I want people to read my books, to relate to my characters, to have heated discussions about the narrative. I want to win awards. The MFA is a step in that direction. But, the path can go anywhere. I could become an Editor, a Copy Editor, a Playwright, a Freelance Writer, or a Travel Writer. I can write screenplays, proofread documents, teach children to write creative essays, blog, critique books/movies/scholarly articles, and the list goes on.... It's really up to me to parlay the skills learned in this degree into money-making ventures. 

Ultimately, I want to write for television. Like, seriously! Those who know me know that I’m a self-described TV whore. I watch some 27 shows a week, sometimes putting off assignments and my already struggling social life for a TV show.

My queue on YouTube is full of Writers’ Roundtables interviews. I look forward to the Writers’ Room. I enjoy listening to the behind-the-scenes action. Think about it, what’s a TV show without the script? Writers are integral to a show; they are the magicians, developing characters and storylines. I want to be a part of that energy of creativity.  

Oh, that's why! I write because it makes me happy. I write because I envision a future for myself where it’s a part of my everyday life. I write because I must. 

Until the next post, chao. 

Blog Post After-Thoughts: 

1) The alternative title for this post was: The Illuminati Made Me Do A MFA in Creative Writing
2) Emma, Dexter and Daphne- Mummy, Daddy and Grandma
3) I respect teachers, and those doing IR and working at Ministries
4) I might have to migrate to write for television
5) I wonder if anyone clicked on "The Garvin Behind The World"