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13 February 2007

Back to school again...sort of

After going to community college, I transferred to ASU. And promptly hated it. The classrooms were so big and I was going from one end of that friggin' campus to the other. I still remember my first day. I came home and called my Mom at work:

"M-mom. I ca-can't do th-this," I sobbed into the phone.

She chuckled softly. "It's okay. It'll get better. It's only your first day."

Whatev. I dropped out almost 2 years later. Despite the fact that they allowed me to get a part-time job on campus. My first real job. My major was English. At the time, I told them I wasn't dropping out. I was just taking a break. So much had happened: graduated from high school, went to community college for 2 yrs, broken up with my first boyfriend ever, my grandfather--who'd been a major part of my childhood and growing up years--had passed away, my older sister had moved out, etc. I might've told them I was taking a break, but I knew in my heart I wasn't going back.

I felt like I was going for them. I was going to ASU because they wanted me to. I was taking classes my Dad had chosen for me.

That wasn't enough for me. Up until recently, the words "school" and "studying" made me want to roll my eyes and whine. Maybe add a stamping of the foot for good measure. When I started my company 4 years ago, I didn't see the workshops I went to as going to school. I just saw it as info I needed to know to help me run a small business. Info that I would need to apply to run my business in the near future.

I've mentioned several times that writing is a never-ending learning process. No matter how much you think you know, there's still more and there will always be more: ways to do this, methods to improve that. It wasn't until last year, when I took an online Teen Chic Lit class hosted by fellow YA writer, Lauren Barnholdt, that I started easing back into "school" mode. And liking it.

Last month, I signed up for Book Promotions - Insider Know-How w/ Teresa Meyers, a workshop I discovered thru AuthorMBA. For the first time, in a long time, I had to think about certain aspects of my writing career: author branding. In this workshop, I discovered that the universal theme running through all my books is that "the truth lies beneath the surface." The three main words I want readers to associate with my books are entertaining, humorous and unexpected twist. My tagline, which I use all the time in my email signatures, is "Young Adult Fiction with a twist"---but I had to come up with three message points that pertained to those three main words:

~ drama: just when you think your own life couldn't be more boring, you discover that someone else's is far from it.

~ humor: it's always nice to know your friends have got your back. Even when they get you into some crazy situations.

~ and the unexpected: the truth lies beneath surface and as we all know, secrets never stay buried for long.

After this segment, everything else was easy. It was mostly informational stuff with helpful links, suggestions, and advice. I enjoyed this workshop so much that I signed for another one: The Career Check-up Challenge. Lecture #1 started yesterday and we already have homework.

Ironically, I don't mind doing it. This time. Is it because I don't feel forced to take the workshop? Definitely. Is it because it's a subject I'm interested in? That's a hell yeah, good buddy.

It's my money, my time, my personal writing growth.

So, I guess I'm back in school. Again. Sort of.


posted by GeminiWisdom @ 11:00 AM |


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