University Blues – A View From the Sofa Update

writing-cycleI’m in a peculiar position (not for the first time, but that’s a different story). This year has been very strange, bewildering, terrifying and awesome. I had two books published: “Absent Ginsberg” edited by me and my good chum Jim and “Going Home: Lost” part one of a two part novel. Both available on Amazon in eBook and physical copies! I wrote a lot of poetry, got very annoyed that a movie had so many plot points in common with “Going Home: Found” I’ve had to abandon one of the threads and go for a complete rewrite. I’ve started writing two new books and a peculiar . . . well I’m tempted to say novella, but it’s not a novella as such.  It’s something other.

I accidentally found myself on an MA course in Creative Writing. I say accidentally, I just made enquiries about the possibility of starting next year, filled in a form and discovered I’d applied . . . then actually got a place.

            I had intended to have a year prepping myself in terms of leaving the house, getting comfortable with going out on my own, getting a train to Portsmouth, etc., but I found the whole process accelerated and I had about three weeks in which to prepare. I’ll be honest.  I wasn’t prepared. I’m still not.

            I find the process of hauling myself into Portsmouth every week both terrifying and exhausting. Add in the socialphobia and bipolar and I’m really not in the greatest of states.  I had thought that familiarity might make it easier over time, but so far, that’s not the case. If anything, I’m coping less well as time goes on. Whereas I used to take a day or two to recover from being outside on my own, at the end of term it’s taking three or four days.

            I’m putting some of that down to the stress of deadlines – keeping it positive – and I reckon that after the most welcome of breaks over Xmas, I should be okay to go again in January. I bloody hope so. However difficult I’m finding the course, however terrifying aspects of it are, I enjoy the work. I even managed to stand in front of a bunch of people and give a presentation. I didn’t manage that in my entire undergrad course. I’m taking that as a huge positive. And frankly, I like the people.

            But the fact is, I’m weary and seriously considering whether I go back or not.  This may just be rampant drama queenery – which wouldn’t surprise me – but right now it all feels like too much. I’ve handed all my work in -and naturally have serious doubts about that – but I have one solid, complete term behind me. If I do decide I can’t continue, I can bank that and continue next year. But then I will have to think about whether I can cope with two years of this.

            The fact is, I know how I want this to play out, it’s just a question of whether me and my brain can come to some sort of compromise. And my brain is notoriously unforgiving. I’m surprised and grateful that it’s let me get this far!

Hey ho.  The joys of being socially inadequate, eh?



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