i am realizing that i no longer wish to pursue my PhD.

i know that is weird to say, when i am only currently working towards my bachelor’s degree–a PhD is worlds away–but for quite a long time now, i have just “known” that i would continue my education until i got my master’s, and then my PhD.  to now sit here and recognize the fact that i may not actually want a PhD is crazy to me.  but it’s true.

my dream is to write.  my goal is to write.  i have always said, i write not just because i want to [although i do, very much want to, always!], but because i have to.  there is a need in me to write; there has been for as long as i can remember.  i wrote stories and poetry as a kid–i have a very clear image in my head of a picture of me reading one of my short stories aloud to my first grade class.  i was wearing my Brownies uniform and showing them a picture i drew of a bird.  i also remember the guilt i felt when, after my teacher complimented me on the story and asked about one particular part where i “drew suspense”–did i do that on purpose?–and i said yes, not really knowing whether i did or not [this very much counted as lying to my elementary Catholic self].

i still write stories; more often i write poetry and journal entries and–my favorite–personal essays.  and i still have that old catholic guilt, though i haven’t been practicing for over a decade.

my question is, how can i write for a living?  i will always write, and i understand the beauty of writing just to write.  but i also want to find a career that satisfies me.  i don’t need to move mountains or be famous or go on book tours [though, of course, that last one would freaking rock!].  i don’t need to be rich OR famous–i don’t even WANT to.  but what i DO want is a career that makes me happy.  i keep learning this semester about how difficult [read: “impossible”] it is to make a career out of writing, but that doesn’t make me want to do it any less.  and i really DO think that it can happen.  the question is how?

feeling discouraged, feeling stifled in english classes that are all “theory this” and “theory that” when all i want to do is READ AND WRITE.


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