There comes a point in almost every student’s existence where, even if they’ve always enjoyed school, they are just tired of the entire scene and cannot wait to be done with it. I hit that point somewhere in my last two semesters of college. My friends hit their point. Bear did too. And one of my friends who is slated for graduation in May told me over the weekend she is beginning to feel it. She’s just not excited about the upcoming semester, and she usually can’t wait to get back to school.
What it comes down to is a weariness of being a student. Of constant homework and high stress levels, that feeling that your entire future hinges on how well you write this final essay for this or that class. For a while, I think we all thrived on it, maybe in a somewhat masochistic way. But it eventually grows old and you’re just ready to move on into the real world, whatever it may bring.
I all but danced my way out of my college town and even though I miss the area dearly, I wouldn’t go back. Not as a student. So it comes as somewhat of a surprise (really, it shouldn’t have) that after spending a few hours reading Stephen King’s On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft I realized I still am and always will be a student.
It would be a great disservice to myself as a writer and to any potential readers out there if I wasn’t constantly trying to improve. It would be a crime against myself if I wasn’t always trying to learn and grow as a person.
My future brother in-law gave me Self-Editing for Fiction Writers for Christmas. As I’ve been reading it, it occurred to me that I’ll be doing this for the rest of my life. Reading material on how to be a better writer, how to edit better, publish better, learning and adjusting as the publishing industry shifts and adjusts. I will never stop being a student, just like I will never stop being a writer.
2013 was a learning experience for me, and I probably wouldn’t be where I am now, getting ready to try what I am about to try, if not for that year of aimless wandering and growth. I expect 2014 will teach me even more, as I venture into the world of Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing.
Being a student will never pay the bills, but none of us would get anywhere without that aspect of our selves. Even if we’re not in an institution of learning, the habit just never quite leaves us.