coming from where I'm from, educational, homeschool, writing

Continuing Education Adjustments- Writer’s Edition

Juggling the student ball with wife and motherhood balls is a delicate balancing act. I assumed that enrolling in Local U. via online classes would significantly reduce the need to carefully schedule my life. I was mistaken. I thought having done this before, I knew what it would be like, but my life is much different now than it was the first time I went back to college.

Back then, I had three children rather than five, and those kids were in school from 8AM-3PM, freeing up many hours to take care of everything that needed to be taken care of, without much interruption. Even when I accounted for my school volunteer time, I had at least 20 solo hours a week to dedicate to studying, housework, and self-care without missing very many beats.

This time, I have two children with me all day, every day, and I am responsible for their education as well as my own. It’s summer, so the demand is significantly less, which is why chose a summer session, but there are still demands to be met alongside the time I spend doing class work and participating on class discussion boards. My husband, the driving force behind me finally taking the plunge and hitting the books again, has been extremely helpful, as have our older children, but at the end of the day, I’m still the mistress of this little domain. As such, I always feel the pressure to make sure that I get done what needs to get done. Overall, it’s going quite well.

As an aspiring writer, I decided that current knowledge of industry information was paramount to accomplishing my goal. I’m not particularly interested in typing out my random thoughts, checking the grammar, and then self-publishing. There are millions upon millions of books out there which meet minimum standards of readability, but I desire to do more than that. And while I have heartfelt appreciation for the many people who have encouraged me over the years that I write well, and have something worth saying, even the roughest diamond needs a lot of polishing. When I write what is in my heart, I want it to shine.

One area of knowledge I believe is important is a thorough, working knowledge of current copy editing standards. The first round of classes I am taking will leave me with the certifications I need to be proficient as a professional copy editor. Anyone who has read my blog for any length of time has noticed that my writing is often riddled with typos. Training my eye to see mistakes quickly, to notice deficiencies in syntax, and to make the most of my writing style can only help me as I combine my thoughts into something worthwhile.

The surprising thing about this new excursion has been discovering that I know much more than I realized. There have been moments, even in the scant three weeks since I started the first class, when I have felt woefully over prepared. I did well on my pre-assessment, when I expected to do much worse considering the years I’ve been out of the classroom- as a student. I haven’t run into any major difficulties yet. The temptation is rising in me to coast and not put in the effort to excel. I’m not sure if any real effort will even be required for me to excel. The area which has required the most mental diligence is the study of specific publishing indutry standards, of which I am woefully ignorant. This experience is teaching me something valuable.

My years out of the classroom (as a student) and at home, haven’t been void of learning, growth, or intellectual stimulation. Homeschooling my cildren, as well as teaching the children of other homeschooling families, has kept me sharp and up to speed on a lot of things I may have otherwise lost along the way.

Investing the time and treasure to pursue this continuing education is worth the shuffle. Whether I succeed at writing an inspiring tome, or simply make a few bucks as a freelance editor, this will, I pray, prove to be a rewarding encounter for years to come.

7 thoughts on “Continuing Education Adjustments- Writer’s Edition”

  1. I am surprised by neither your radical overpreparedness nor your surprise at the scheduling, since I’ve heard a lot about the former from others of our age-group returning to college and am experiencing the latter.

    Interesting times.

    Like

  2. I am surprised by neither your radical overpreparedness nor your surprise at the scheduling,

    As I have kids who are recent college grads, I knew that the coursework was significantly less challenging than when I originally enrolled 29 years ago. And even less challenging than when I went back to finish, 15 years ago.

    But this was a farther regression than I had anticipated, even when accounting for the fact that I’ve been writing and teaching writing/lit classes. This is, after all, a course geared to people who are continuing education (presumably already degreed, not starting out).

    I was thinking it should be a little harder. But I’m glad that it’s manageable because I’m not as out of step with things as I thought.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. @ Hearth:

    I have resorted to that oh-so-controversial relic from the days when Christian homemaking blogs were ubiquitous and know-it-all: The homemaking binder, although patterned after my own needs and schedule. I used to poo-poo those things even though in general I am Queen of the Lists (:)). Here’s what’s in it:

    ~List of stuff that needs to be done every day to keep things tidy. The kids help with the work, of course.
    ~ Menu plan for all three meals
    ~ Self-care schedule because when I am busy and/or tired, the first things to go are exercise and skin care regimen as I crash into bed without doing my beauty routine. It only takes 10 minutes, so I need to stay committed to it.
    ~times devoted to working on classwork, “pleasure” reading, and writing/blogging. The latter two are important to me, and not frivolous. Because I am not and facebook and watch very little TV, I consider these no less wasteful time than people who pop open the laptop each night.
    ~laundry schedule

    You get the point. Basically I have a bunch of laminated sheets in a binder, open on the counter, checking things off as I walk by.

    The self-care schedule is pretty extensive, LOL. Not to be confused with expensive, although it can sometimes be that, too.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I don’t find your posts riddled with typos; I would say it’s occasional.

    But I wouldn’t expect anything less from you – I have a sneaking suspicion that once you make up your mind, you’re an ‘all-in’ kind of girl! Keep those balls moving in the air, eventually they settle into the right pockets of life.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. I was making myself a list at work today as I shoveled through, because it calmed down a bit (aka two of my three bosses weren’t in) and… yeah. Lists are the bomb. You don’t have to stress about that thing-you-should-remember-what-was-it.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I don’t find your posts riddled with typos; I would say it’s occasional.

    Thanks for that, Robyn.

    But I wouldn’t expect anything less from you – I have a sneaking suspicion that once you make up your mind, you’re an ‘all-in’ kind of girl! Keep those balls moving in the air, eventually they settle into the right pockets of life.

    I’m not as consistent as I’d like to be, but for sure, without a plan, I don’t get anything done.

    Liked by 1 person

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