School, School, Wonderful School

More reasons school is the right step:

Reason #1: It will help stifle the persnickety voice in my head that tells me I should be sewing instead of writing. “Like, uh, Darla, you get paid to sew, not to write, get on the ball!”

Of course, as I’m writing this, the promoter of one of the shows that I love, FaerieCon West, calls to ask if I can make another payment on my booth fees…I can’t, but not because I’ve been writing instead of sewing…no, I have no ducats to pay, partly because, instead of writing or sewing, I’ve been mired in the muck of guilt and indecision of “Write? Sew? Write? Sew?” This both backs up and confirms Reason #1 and brings me to Reason #2

Reason #2: When the grants and loans kick in (and, hopefully, scholarships too!) I can construe this as “Being paid to write” and the guilt of writing instead of sewing will begin to be assuaged.

(Yeah, so this is kinda Reason #1A, because it ties in…but we’re just gonna leave it as is, ‘K?)

Reason #3: I’m a deadline kinda gal. Nothing kicks me in the butt more than “Oh damn, I gotta get this done!”

Last year, when I restarted this whole love affair with writing, I “HAD to write” because of the juice it gave me. Now, typical of us creative types, that urgency has faded a bit. Having deadlines will mean I’m writing consistently, thereby keeping the juices flowing.

As an aside here, I lost the urgency to write during Northern Faire, when I had to sew and didn’t have time to write. Ah me and my ADD! Hyper-focusing is how I handle it. I have to hyper-focus, or I can’t get anything done. Once I stop something, it’s tremendously difficult for me to get started again.

In Kristen Lambs Blog post “10 Ways for an ADD writer to be OOH! SHINY…Productive” ( she recommends breaking writing into tiny chunks, say, twenty minutes at a time, but, let me tell you, that would not work for me. I would write for the first twenty minutes, then I would get so captivated by “SQUIRREL!” that I would spend the next 8 hours watching the squirrel, talking to the squirrel, researching the squirrel (and all his brethren) on the internet. My life would become squirrel until something shinier came along.

You know those things that people who don’t understand ADD always say about kids that have it? Things like: “ADD my ass, if he can’t concentrate, how is it he can play a video-game for fourteen hours straight?” Well, I’ll tell you: Rewards! Video-games give the player frequent rewards. As does writing, for me, at least (or painting, or drawing, or sculpting, or any other artistic calling, all of which are prone to attracting ADD individuals.)(check it out, it’s true:, and, there were other articles that I saved to my computer, but, well, ADD again, I guess, I can’t find them.) For a painter, it’s that perfect brush stroke; for a sculptor, that heavenly curve; for me, it’s writing that sentence that takes my breath away, as well as being swept up into what I’m doing and losing myself to it.

(when I was still in love with my business, I would take the drudgery out of sewing by making a game out of it, a contest with myself. If I sewed 5 bodices in an hour, I would shoot for 6 the next hour…Bingo! Reward!)(I’d break it up even further: 5 bodices an hour equals 12 minutes per bodice, lets shoot for 10 minutes per bodice…lot’s of little rewards, as well as a whole bunch of spurring me on: “Damn, that one took 10 minutes, 35 seconds. I can do better!”)(In the interest of full disclosure, I must admit that there were also multiple episodes of Doctor Who. Let’s face it, sewing is boring!)

The only exception I can make to the hyper-focusing, at least as far as writing goes, is that when I get stuck on something, I get to go for a walk. That never would’ve worked with sewing, let me tell you! I actually tried it, and it was a great-big-giant FAIL!!! I would spend the next several hours having the best walk on the planet and the sewing would remain undone! (I’m sure I must’ve spent at least part of that time contemplating squirrels!)When writing, however, that walk is a wonderful leap forward in whatever I’m on about, because , in my mind, I’m still writing, still rolling along, processing, thinking, and the exercise efficiently clears out the cobwebs and pebbles and boulders that have blocked my progress. When I’m done with my walk, I can’t WAIT to get back to the laptop and get down all the things I thought about when I was out and about.

(So, how about that! Two professions that require copious amounts of time spent sitting on ones butt…and writing turns out to be healthier. Score!)

Reason #4: People, people, people…and feedback galore!

I have a tendency to ‘go into my cave.” And stay there. The hermit streak runs wide in me. I can channel Ted Kaczynski with the best of them. (well, without all the blowing stuff up and misanthropy.)(Damn it, I wanted to say social misanthropy, ’cause it would’ve flowed better, but, a redundancy is a redundancy so I must not do so…* sigh *) The hermitage needs relief. I need a reason to leave my cozy cave on a frequent and proscribed basis, and, let’s face it, what I wrote whilst “writing what I know” would turn out mind-numbingly boring work if all that I knew was the inside of an eight by thirty-two metal tube—even if that metal tube IS a classic Airstream!

Then there’s the feedback! I haven’t found a writing group here in the bay area yet, so, teachers, fellow students, bring it on! Nothing instills confidence in my work like hearing what other people think about it. Even negative feedback increases my confidence because I either react with “Bullshit! They are WRONG!” or “Oh…wow! I never thought about it like that! Cool!” I loves me some feedback!

So, there you are, four more reasons why school is the right path for me at this stage in my life. Enough hyper-focusing, time for me to go out and face the day!

Adios, muchachos!


About babedarla

I've spent years as a clothing/costume designer with my own business, but a recent life change has put me on a journey of self discovery and returned me to my first love: writing!
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6 Responses to School, School, Wonderful School

  1. Sylvia McRae says:

    I’m pretty sure Gillian Bagwell was in a writing group. You are flowing better already!

  2. School? So what are you going to do? Study writing? Does it pay to be studying?

  3. babedarla says:

    Yep, studying writing….well, grants and loans will pay for living expenses and tuition, so, it’s SORTA like being paid to write!
    BTW, Sylvia who commented above, lives a couple of hours away from you. I think you two should meet, you’d really like each other!

  4. I went back to school late in life too. The grants are wonderful, but the financial aid process is a special kind of bureaucratic Hell. I think non-traditional students like you, and grumpy old me are at an advantage in many ways. For the first time in my life I was an A student. You’re going to do great, I just know it.

  5. babedarla says:

    Thank you Trevor, or Scotty, or whatever you prefer to be called. I AM loving it, and learning a bunch…plus, at least one of the teachers has sort of picked me as a class favorite, which tickles me to no end (yeah, like I wasn’t shooting for that all along!)
    Thanks for reminding me, I gotta do my FAFSA like NOW!

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