I started out pursuing a business degree. I freely admit that this was still a very general approach to my college career. Brigham Young University has a great business program. But who knew on top of general education classes, I would have to take–and do well in–several business courses before even being accepted to the program? I certainly didn’t know where the hoops ended and the real applicable learning began.
Don’t get me wrong. I know college has its place. If nothing else it teaches students how to learn. In today’s world of information and innovation a person will undergo several changes in jobs, if not careers. Learning is at the center of excelling in any field. A person should gain as many skills and understanding as they can. That is the experiment of life. How much can we learn? How much knowledge will we be able to live up to? Learning if not applied to living is of no use otherwise.
That’s my point. My professors mostly taught me their path of understanding. In other words, completing assignments for them mostly engaged my mind on how to become whatever they had become. Some had gained experience outside of the classroom, but most of their academic knowledge had come from within the classroom. Much of it made a lot of sense in theory but had little practicality beyond learning how to test well or write a research paper to my teacher’s liking. Since I had no intention of becoming a teacher I had no desire to learn the English Teaching profession. And although that is a separate degree at BYU the fact of the matter is that my degree was geared toward that end. The other thing most teachers teach their students to become is an Editor. Thankfully I found a couple professors who may not have given me the best grade, but they did point me on a path toward learning how to write in whatever creative way I could imagine success.
I was writing one night per week through the night. I had publisher’s interested in Sterling Bridge back in 2003. I was failing out of my college classes. I’m not sure how I made it through. My parents taught me to never give up on something I started. Thankfully I did get my degree and it has served me well. But after taking a break from the starving-writing-sleepless-nights routine, this writer is happy to be publishing a project I started a longtime ago. I am so thankful for the opportunities to learn academic writing, but more thankful to have learned how to work on all of my other writing. It will take me to higher heights than higher education ever did. No disrespect to faculty publications, but creative writing outside the confines of a university is the means that worked for me, for which I am now able to call myself a Published Author. In order to become something we all must take the learning we have gained and apply it beyond the training grounds. I am forever learning, an essential part of becoming a professional writer, but the key to being a writer is writing. I work at an academic library. It keeps my research sharp. But at the end of the day I am a writer!