Every Cloud... by plushoff

So, it’s officially official.

What’s officially official, you ask?

Me. Taking a year off of school. That’s what.

Turns out that there was form that I needed to have filled out. I knew about it, but I got the email in April right before I was headed to one of my classes and I forgot. It is now July. And I’m not interested in taking out $13,000 of student loans. So I’m going to take the year off and get in a better position financially before I take up my schooling again.

And I find I’m okay with this.

It actually got me thinking. We writers have to be very special people. Because let’s face the truth: Instant success is a rare thing in our business. Quite often a writer faces years of rejection and crushed hopes before they ever get that one person that says, “Yes, I think your book stands a chance.” I’ve heard of authors, now published, who have reams of rejection letters. enough to use as wallpaper for a room or even the whole house.

And even after you get  the publishing contract, you still have that lingering question, “Will anyone buy my book?”

You have to look for the silver lining. You have to stop and ask, “What can I learn from this?” and figure out what progress has been made. So that’s what I did. I sat back and asked: “What can I possibly gain from taking a year off school?” And I came up with some pretty good stuff, along with some kind of sad stuff. Some of which I thought I’d share with you in a simple pros and cons list (Oh yeah, Gallagher Girls style):

PRO: Less financial stress. Let’s face it. With me needing to rent my own place and having to make car payments, credit card payments and insurance payments there wasn’t going to be money for anything else. Like gas or clothes…or food. And I don’t know about you, but I kind of like not starving. It’s funny how God knows me so much better than I know myself. He tries for the subtle hints, like my parents and the fact that not all the math adds up. And then, when I blatantly decide to ignore these things (mostly by basing my plans on a whole lot of “ifs”) he draws my attention to the open window by temporarily closing the door. He knows I sometimes need giant arrows or a knock on the head to get me headed in the right direction. I would have killed myself trying to accomplish things my way (the just get-it-over-with way). If only I’d climbed through the window three months ago…it’s would have saved me a lot of trouble.

CON: I have to be patient. I hate being patient.

PRO: I get to hang out with my friends and family for another year, instead of only coming home once a week for dinner…and Bones.

CON: I don’t get to hang out with all of the new friends that I met a SEU (including the cute boy who happens to both read and sing) nearly as much. I do plan to go up for some of the choir gigs and other musical stuff so that I can be supportive of my friends. But it’s sad to actually be looking forward to next semester (because of people and classes) and then to have to wait another year. Especially since some of them graduate next spring.

PRO: There are actually bookstores in St. Pete, so there’s the possibility that I can get a job sharing what I love. It’s something that I’ve been wanting to do for a while actually. And not just because I’ve got my eyes on the employee discounts (though that has something to do with it). I love to read (big surprise, I know) and the idea  of being able to share that with someone else, of maybe even being able to show someone who doesn’t read how amazing a good book can be (Recently did this with a friend and it was exciting) kind of gives me goosebumps. The good kind, not the I should of brought a jacket kind.

CON: It might not happen and I could be stuck with a job that I find less imspiring.

PRO: Saving the best for last: I get a whole year to work on my book without school competing for my attention. Yeah, that book that I’m currently supposed to be 50,000 words deep in(heh heh), it’s been sadly neglected (partly, because we’re repainting my room at some point and I’ve been putting things in boxes). It’s hard enough to find time to write working like I am, but I’ve been able to find some time. With school and the amount that I would have had to work to even remotely pay my bills, there would have been no time for me to write. Not if I want to sleep and eat. And, while sleep deprivation does seem to unlock some of my magical writer skills, there’s a certain point where I get miserably sick when I’m running on minimal sleep. It’s not pretty. Now I can have both and stay in good health at the same time. I think this was the one that really got me when I first found out about my financial aid situation. I was like, “Crap, I’m not going to school next semester…but at least I get more time to work on my book.”

CON: I really can’t find a corresponding con for this one. I mean, either way, I was working on my book.

I think you’ll find that the pros greatly outweigh the cons. This is my silver lining. and I’ve discovered that I actually like the silver lining quite a bit.