Today I'll hand in all my final coursework: my essay on cover design, two book proposals, 2500 words from my novel and a reflection on my writing process. Of course, I'm not yet finished. I have a few more deadlines along the way, and September 30th I'll be handing in (hopefully!) my completed novel (Project Sparkle). But I still feel strangely empty. Next week Monday will be my last class at Bath Spa University.
I'm certainly looking forward to having more free time. I've got my whole series of The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants books waiting for me. I've got the newest PD James mystery. I'm also looking forward to more writing time. I still have yet to figure out my climax.
This past year has been a lot of work. I've frequently dreaded class, thinking "Oh boy, what flaw in my writing are they going to dissect this week?"
Yet for all the challenges, it's been one of the best years of my life, one of the best decisions I've ever made. My writing has improved dramatically. I've become more critical of myself, more aware of my bad writing. But I've also become more aware of my good writing, and been so encouraged and supported in all the things I do well. I've read a ton. I've made friends. I've had the absolute privilege to be surrounded by people who share my passion for children's books and writing and reading. As much as I've dreaded my classes, every Sunday evening I've also thought, "Oh good, I get to go back to school tomorrow!" Every Wednesday morning I've waited expectantly to see what new book I would get to read for the week. So I'm really sad to see it all be over.
Course, I'll still continue to get together, online and hopefully in person, with many of my classmates. I'll still continue to visit Bath and meet with Julia. Next year at about this time my class will be launching our anthology of work with a launch party in London. So perhaps it's not so much of an end as another step forward.
But I'm still sad.
What a change from the beginning of the year, huh? Here's some of my first posts on going back to school and on my first day on campus as a student. I love how I actually have an online record of how much my life has changed.