flash of panic

Yesterday I sat down and wrote a piece of flash fiction. Flash is normally under 1,000 words, but I was aiming for under 500. I didn’t intend writing a short-short yesterday, but a market presented itself, and I fancied the challenge.

The story flowed in an adrenaline rush. I was wired after writing it because I was so pleased with the result. It’s a departure in style for me: lyrical, poetic, and meant to harken after the epics of Irish literature. The kind of writing that is unfashionable in a lot of spec fic markets.

After being so happy with my efforts, later I became depressed upon reading it back. I guess writers are part bi-polar. After reflecting on it in a balanced fashion I think it’s a decent piece with potential.

I’ve had mixed feedback on it, some of which I’ll take on board. I’m not going to obsess over this story. It’s too short to spend a lot of time re-working it, but I hope to hammer off the rough edges.

When I was finished I received an email with my class schedule for the MA.

It freaked me out.

While I went into this expecting a full timetable, I was taken aback by the huge time commitment this postgrad degree will involve. Monday – Wednesday I’ll be in classes and/or screenings from 10am – 8pm (approximately). Thursday is 10am – 5pm, and Friday is a half day. On top of that I’ll have on-going assignments, writing laboratories, and a large portfolio of material to complete by the following September.

This hectic pace will continue for the first two semesters–until mid-April. There won’t be any classes for the final semester, but by then I’ll have a ton of written material to complete.

Included in the email was a short reading list, and a reminder that we have to have two draft treatments ready immediately. There’s no fucking around on this course.

I have the two treatments I put together for the MA application, so I’ll polish them up, and luckily I’ve read two of the books on the reading list. I’m getting my hands on the rest so I can start the course up to speed immediately. I don’t want to fall behind right at the beginning.

I won’t have the energy to maintain Babblogue Blog, but I have a few ideas how it may continue once I start College. I plan to post regularly on this journal, because I’ll have plenty to discuss once I’m hip deep in screenplays and movies. It’ll be weird to switch gears into screenplay-mode after spending so much time over the past three months thinking about the short story form. Much to my surprise I’m going to miss writing short stories. At the moment I’m hoping to continue to write short fiction during the coming year; I think the change in styles might benefit my writing in both arenas.

What daunts me the most is the amount of backlogged projects I have to clear, or get moving, before I start the MA. Thank goodness I tackled most of my tasks for the summer, but there are a number of outstanding jobs.

Last night I could hardly sleep because my mind was racing over how I will get everything done, and the prospect of completing this MA to my satisfaction while keeping up my other commitments.

Martin and I will be apart a lot in the coming year.

This is going to be a major investment of my time, money, and resources, so I better make the most of it.

One Comment

  • Kay

    I completely relate to your panic. Isn’t post grad work a LOT more work than undergrad? I started a Masters in writing and lit (part time) this year, and the amount of time I expected to devote to it is fine – for the weekly stuff. But no where near enough when you add in assignments. Can’t even imagine doing it full time!