February 23rd, 2006
Writing and School

When I first started writing and trying to get published, I had several friends in the same position. We all worked our butts off, and then one by one we landed book deals. The whole process reminded me so much of high school. There were rivalries, disappointments, recognitions, and then finally graduations. We weren’t all exactly the class of 2002, but we all ‘graduated’ within a year of each other.

It was the pinnacle of our struggles…or so we thought. No one had a clue that the second you graduate you’re immediately tossed into higher learning. This is where things change dramatically with your ‘class’. Some of you go onto Harvard, while others are stuck at the community college. Now, there’s nothing wrong with community college. Sometimes it’s actually a good thing. You get a chance to bring your grades up without bankrupting your checking account. 😉

That said, it does tend to change the dynamics of your ‘class’. Just like peers who leave their hometown to attend school in another state, it’s hard to keep up with class members as the chasm between you grows. It’s one of those things as a writer that you never hear about. The other thing you never hear about is that this chasm is actually fluid. It’s constantly narrowing and widening, depending on the environment. So if you find yourself on the ‘wrong’ bank, be patient. It won’t be long before the chasm shifts.

On a completely bizarre note, I got this link on MALE PREGNANCY from Maili. Don’t know if it’s real, but I find it a tad disturbing. What do you all think? ***Quick update (thanks to Eve:)*** Apparently, it’s a hoax. Whew!

24 comments to “Writing and School”

  1. I know what you mean, Jordan. I’m starting to feel that chasm grow between me and some of the other “no longer unpub” writers. We no longer share the same experiences. It’s like we’re leading different lives and no longer have much to say to each other, or time to talk.

  2. Silma, You do start leading different lives once you sell. Your concerns change. That doesn’t mean you still can’t remain friends. Each side has to make an effort. And most importantly, it’s only temporary. 🙂

  3. I think if you’re real friends, you can always still talk, even if you don’t talk every day anymore like you used to. My friendship circle has certainly changed over the last couple years, however, I still feel that each and every one of them would be there for me if I needed them. And I would be for them. We don’t share crits as much, or chat about everyday stuff as much anymore, becuase like you say, our focus shifts, but they’re still my friends, even the ones that I’ve hurt, or that have hurt me in the past.

  4. Sasha, I think it’s interesting that your circle of friends has changed, but I know what you mean. The same thing happens when you get married. Some of your friends stick with you, while others drop all contact. That was very difficult for me to grasp. I’ve been fortunate that my circle of writing friends has stayed relatively stable. I know there are many people who cannot say the same. It does take work.

  5. once a friend always a friend. I still feel that others are friends, but at the smae time, in working closely withother authors, they become friends too. As for daily life. Only wtwo fo my friedns understand how important writing is to me, and the others get really upset when I don’t jump to go out all the time because I’m writing. Therefor, they fade a bit…
    does that make sense? The circle is still there, I just don’t share everything with everyone anymore.

  6. Sasha, Actually, that makes perfect sense. 🙂

  7. Uh… *looks at your response* Which part is temporary, Jordan, the friendship or the writing? *devilish smile*

  8. Funny, Silma. Real funny. 😉

  9. I don’t have any peers – I’m special (cough, cough, gag, snort) 😉

  10. Great post, Jordan. You’re absolutely right. I’m still in ‘high school’, lol, but I can see a difference in some of the chat groups I’ve frequented in the past couple of years. We all started out in exactly the same place, but I can already see subtle cracks developing.

  11. Eve you are indeed special =)

  12. Eve, LOL!

  13. Raine, I think in groups it’s even MORE apparent. You have a larger dynamic. I can’t imagine trying to keep one together. It was hard enough to keep a rock band together when I was singing in one and there were only five of us. *g* Over the next year as more sales accrue, you’ll notice the cracks widening.

  14. I have pubbed friends and unpubbed friends. The pubbed friends I started out with have stayed that friends, but I’d had a few cracks and chasms develop when unpubbed friends become pubbed. I haven’t been surprised by the rift, but I was saddened by it a time or two.

  15. Cece – your check is in the mail …

    God, all of this talk about high school has given me the hives. I didn’t like it then, I probably won’t like it now – but I’ll get over it (or blow up a few people in the process LOL)

  16. Kewl post – I like your depiction of the chasm being fluid. Right on (if I may rely on an old, old, term from my youth – lol).

  17. Jan, It is sad and a little disappointing, but like you said, it’s not surprising. :-/

  18. Eve, LOL! I had a pretty good time in high school the first time, but I had no idea I was going to have to repeat it. :-O

  19. Sunny, LOL! I think the fact that it’s fluid is what people should keep in mind. I know it’s easy to consider your current position set in stone, but it’s not realistic. 🙂

  20. Yeah right – like when your best friend becomes cheerleader and won’t talk to you anymore because you’re just not cool enough and your other friend starts dating and no longer has time to talk to you … (I like analogies 🙂 But then you find a new friend and your other friend gets dumped and comes back to the fold. You may never get the cheeleader friend back, but you can at least boast that you knew her when …

  21. Eve, *ggg* Something like that. (wg)

  22. Hmmm. Guess I’ll wait and see! I’m too new to have any set anything.

  23. Charlene, Nothing is set, when you’re dealing with fluidity. 🙂

  24. Eve I hated high school too!!!!!!