How does one choose what to do a Masters degree in? What your parents did? What your highest GPA was in? Where the market requires more people with Masters degrees? What feels good? What you didn’t spend enough time working on in your Bachelors degree? What your friend thinks you should do? What your counselor or spouse thinks you should do? If you can afford it or not? Just what exactly??
When I was young I wrote stories about climbing trees, playing with a friend, and playing with my dog. All of these stories ended the same with my mother walking in and the narrative would just stop. You’d think someone would have noticed this, but no one cared. I never wrote a book report for school, not even one. I graduated high school with no real plans besides becoming a mechanic. Right after high school I had an epiphany and for about a month I though long and hard about writing for car magazines. I had been reading Road & Track for three years and was also reading Hot Rod magazine. A lot of thought and not one word written down about it. In the service I found myself buying lots and lots of books, but only reading sporadically. When I was 25 I read A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway and was inspired to become a writer. Sporadic reading and writing ensued. I pursued a BA and chose the testing out method for various reasons and almost never wrote a paper until the last class. I took three classes that required writing: College Writing; Research Paper; and the final Capstone. After I retired from working on airplanes I wanted to take a certificate course @ UW in Genealogy, but my wife talked me into pursuing a Certificate in Writing. I didn’t feel like writing anymore. Now I have returned to work and the only thing I want to do is to retire again. So here I am, a writer that doesn’t write.
I don’t think my problem is that I do not want to write, but that I have no ambitions.
“Unprovided with original learning, unformed in the habits of thinking, unskilled in the arts of composition, I resolved–to write a book.” Edward Gibbon (1737-1794)
There seem to be as many books about writing as there are stars in the sky. Here are a few of my favorites:
Writing Down the Bones – Natalie Goldberg
Bird by Bird – Anne Lamott
On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft – Stephen King
Fearless Writing – William Kenower
A Natural History of the Senses – Diane Ackerman
Henry Miller on Writing
On Writing Well – William Zinsser
One Writers Beginnings – Eudora Welty
Sin and Syntax – Constance Hale
The Right to Write – Julia Cameron
The Spooky Art: Some Thoughts on Writing – Norman Mailer
Writing is My Drink – Theo Pauline Nestor
A Dangerous Profession – Frederick Busch
The Writer’s Journey: Mythic Structure for Writers – Christopher Vogler
I want a Masters degree because Bob Wiley went back to school and got his Masters degree.
If the point of this exercise is to make money, then studying the writers who have made tons of money seems to be a good goal. Norman Mailer made money, but Jack Kerouac did not. Would this be considered selling my soul?
I was a Liberal until about six months into Bill Clinton’s reign of terror. At that point I realized that I was a blind Liberal no more and really started doing my own research and finding out the truth behind the fiasco of that presidency. I have Bill & Hillary to thank for becoming a Conservative and for wanting to pursue my education.