Lake Atitlan, Panajachel, Guatemala

“Reading and writing are acts of empathy and faith. Guard that trust carefully — in this rapidly changing business, it’s the only sure thing.” ~Erin Keane
"Never give up. And most importantly, be true to yourself. Write from your heart, in your own voice, and about what you believe in." ~ Louise Brown

"Write something to suit yourself and many people will like it; write something to suit everybody and scarcely anyone will care for it."
~Jesse Stuart

"A writer's job is to take one thing and make it stand for twenty." ~ Virginia Woolf

Saturday, January 15, 2011

How Finishing My Degree Led to a Career in Writing and Editing

I went back to finish my bachelor's degree at age 50. No real reason, just thought I should. My major was English and American Literature, because I love it and because studying great literature inspires me to write more than anything else.

My last semester, I took a folk lore class to fit in a requirement for my English major because I thought it would be something different than the usual English & American lit classes.

It led to interviewing my mom for a couple of folklore assignments, which led to Farm Girl, which led to getting published, which led to getting my novel, Uncut Diamonds, published 2 years later, which led to editing for WiDo yadayadayada. But it all began in that folklore class.

Moral of the story: Stay in school!

(This post inspired by Carolyn V of Checkerboard Squares)

25 comments:

  1. Karen, that's so cool! Interviewing your mom must have been amazing. Imagine all the stories bottled up inside parents and grandparents.

    You're an inspiration!

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  2. So true. Many people think that writing is a natural thing, not something that can be learned in school. However, schooling plays a major role - even if it's just a matter of making the right connections.

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  3. Could I send this round to all my pupils, please?

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  4. You couldn't have predicted that outcome!

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  5. Oh, Karen. You have no idea how much I love this post. I quit college at the beginning of my junior year but have been toying with the idea of going back. My original course of study was psychology, but that doesn't seem to fit any longer. English sounds like a possibility.

    Thanks for sharing your experience!

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  6. How great to hear this part of your story. It's funny how one small decision can change everything. As writers, we never know where inspiration will strike.

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  7. Love it! What a great way to promote education! Not only did you find out all about your family's history - but you're a published author now!! :)

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  8. A good illustration of why school is important at any age. : )

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  9. great post karen! I have 3 degrees and I want to believe that is one of the reasons I get all the jobs I interview for even in a dicey economy.

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  10. What a great story! Educating yourself in any manner is always a good thing.

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  11. That's an amazing path!
    Learning is a ALWAYS a great thing...

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  12. It's never too late to pursue our dreams! Thanks for sharing you path.

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  13. Lovely post, Karen. You're a great example of hard work and following the right path. Love this.

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  14. Wise words, KarenG!!! And yay for getting your degree!!! Ooorah!!! :-)

    Take care
    x

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  15. Isn't it funny how one decision in life leads to other stuff happening?
    Well done for sticking with it.

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  16. thanks for your sweet comment on the scarf and mittens. No pattern, just cast on 50 stitches with 4mm needles, and keep going till you're happy with the length! I did 10 rows of rib at either end, and each colour stripe was 6 rows long.
    I too have a jumper that's not finished, but i've decided it's too big and I'm going to rip it out. Will post a pic before I rip it, as the pattern is beautiful.
    Yea, blogging does take from knitting time, I'm not sure I can juggle both, but I'll muddle along for now!
    Have a lovely weekend.

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  17. Yes! I didn't attend college until I was in my 40's and if it weren't for two English instructors I don't know if I'd have found my writing voice again ... they reminded me of what I had always wanted to do and had forgotten about it....

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  18. You are such an inspiration and you are right, it's never too late. I am thinking about returning to college, this year, to work on my Masters degree. My daughter is currently working on hers.

    You can find my Creole Veggie Wraps on my August 23, 2010 post. Enjoy!

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  19. woo hoo! You're an inspiration, Karen!

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  20. I would love a degree in literature. I've always wanted to study like that. Perhaps when I'm fifty...

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  21. Hi Karen, I've posted 2 pictures of the yarn on that blog post if you want to pop by, also a link to a site where you can buy it. Not responsible for your credit card bill though!

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  22. Fun to see how a crooked path can lead exactly where we want to go!

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