Going Back to School

Just when I thought I didn’t have time to write, I started another project. I’m going back to school.

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I’ve been in need of a change for a while now, career wise. I’m not writing my book fast enough to live on any possible proceeds, so I’m forced to have a day job. As I get older, the day job I have is getting more physically demanding and less enjoyable. I quickly learned, after graduating with a degree in professional writing, that I might as well have had a degree in Russian ballet through the ages. The bottom fell out of the magazine industry, I had no desire to be a newspaper reporter, and writing a book felt like a pipe dream.

I was thrust out into the world with no specialized training in anything but how to properly construct a sentence. Which, admittedly, I sometimes suck at. See?  That sentence right there…isn’t “at” a preposition? And I ended a sentence with it. I could have bought a beach house with the money I spent to get this education and I’m committing heinous crimes against the English language because I can’t remember the most basic grammar rules!

Instead of writing for Cosmo, I leased apartments. Instead of getting a syndicated column, I created Sunday worship bulletins. Instead of writing a book, I answered people’s sometimes mean emails for a retail store’s website.

Now, halfway through my life, I have to admit that floating along until I make it as a writer isn’t magically happening like I hoped it would. I didn’t get my college degree until I was in my 30s and even then, hoped I would just tumble into the perfect writing job.

It’s time to be real. While I’m working on my writing career, I still have to make my contribution to the mortgage. In order to make any decent money, this means a return to textbooks, flashcards and final exams.

I think I’ve mentioned in previous posts that my husband and I are following Dave Ramsey’s Total Money Makeover plan. Dave endorses a company on the web called CareerStep. They have several different online educational programs set up for you to learn at your own pace. The price is reasonable, since you are only paying for classes you need and there isn’t the overhead of the traditional classroom and everything that goes with it.

I am newly enrolled in the medical billing and coding program. It’s been a few years since I’ve been in school and when they shipped the books, I’m not gonna lie, I was a little unnerved. The medical terminology book is big enough to be used as a weapon – if I can muscle up the strength to pick it up off the desk.

With one more thing taking up more of my valuable writing time, I have to come up with a new plan (and fast!) to fit everything into my day.  Wish me luck!

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