Thursday, 2 August 2012

Student Panic: a quick update

My creative writing dissertation is due 4 weeks tomorrow. Eek!

It's not going badly, but the next few weeks will be hard work. My stories will be redrafted as much as I can stand. My essay will have stuff added to it, because it's on the short side. I will read as much as possible to help the story drafting and essay.

The main problem is I have a terrible awareness of how little I know. My research has led to me finishing with a longer reading list than I started with - not including the books I've read. It's good in a way, because I need to write even more stories after I hand in my dissertation, to turn the dissertation into a full collection of linked Gothic stories and to submit. Knowing my next step is reassuring.

On the other hand... I know NOTHING!

There are so many authors I need to read and learn from; so many hours of writing practice I need to put in. I want my dissertation to be as good as I can make it and there's so much to cram in. I keep repeating the word 'so'. Hope I don't do that in my dissertation.

I have to remind myself that the Creative Writing MA is just one leg of my journey. A long, arduous drive up a motorway with no rest stops, but still only part of the whole. Whatever the result - good or bad - it won't be as important as what I've already learnt or what comes next.


  1. Wishing you the best of luck, Hayley, with the next four weeks. You've worked so hard already, so don't forget how much you've achieved and how far you've come.
    You must treat yourself to something wonderful when the four weeks comes to an end.
    I don't believe any of us ever thinks we know enough or have read enough. I always think I haven't worked hard enough, even though everyone I know says I couldn't possibly pack any more into the day.
    I think it's part of a writer's nature to dwell on what they haven't accomplished and, in my case, whether they have actually covered any ground at all! In redrafting my novel, for example, I sway like a pendulum between thinking it's fine to wondering why on earth I bothered! My poor husband gets very confused when he asks how it's going. One day I'm all set to send it away and the next, I'm plagued with self-doubt.
    I think it's all part of the writing territory.
    You have done a lot of amazing work, Hayley. I know you'll be able to keep it going and will think of you over the next few weeks as you bring it all together.

  2. Thank you, Joanna. You've reassured me. My mum gets confused as to how quickly a piece of writing can go from 'pretty good' to 'terrible, I'm an idiot to think I could write'! Glad I'm not the only one... :-)