I think my favorite part of writing for JMU’s student-run paper is the people I’ve met. Sometimes I take a story, set up interviews, and afterward, I feel like I got so much more out of it than just the facts.
That seems to happen a lot with me at school. Freshman and sophomore year, I took almost all gen ed courses. US History, Anthropology and Art History stand out. I came away from those classes with an appreciation for the knowledge I’d learned in a way that probably wasn’t normal. How many college kids go around saying they really enjoyed memorizing dates and artist names and analyzing a giant canvas with paint dripped all over it entitled “Autumn Rhythm”? Not many.
On Thursday, I’d about had it with the week, ready to throw away all hope left in humanity. It was pouring rain and I didn’t have an umbrella with me. The weather had gone from 90 to 65 in three days, and I felt like that only mirrored my inability to comprehend anything I was learning in my classes. I felt like I was, pretty literally, drowning. But I had to meet with a professor for one of my stories, and talking with him, seeing the affinity he has for his job, made me feel better. Who wouldn’t want to be happy doing something they love, even as it pours down buckets outside? That’s what I want for myself some day.
Which is why I’ve spent the last three days busting my butt to get this latest manuscript edited. I started about two weeks ago, having just finished a Writer’s Digest course, but just recently I revved it up, taking my pen and giving myself no mercy as I ran through sentences, ideas, plot and back story in my head. And on Friday, I checked the mail to find an issue of Writer’s Digest my mom had sent me before leaving the country for a trip. On the cover? 27 agents seeking representation.
Yes. This is the push I need to move myself one step closer to being like that professor, being completely happy with where I’m at.
I feel like I’ve grown so much since I started four years ago, but I still stay up until one a.m. running through the words in my head, trying to make them fit into the big picture, trying to link scenes and watch sub-plots pan out. At the end of the day, all I want to do is write.
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