1. Matt Harvey
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    Matt Harvey New Member

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    I'm at a bit of a loss.

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Matt Harvey, Mar 19, 2012.

    I just signed up for this website because I just don't know what to do. I'm 22 years old, dropped out of high school when I was 16, and have basically been working dead end, minimum wage jobs since. I've always been good at writing though. When I was in high school, I had to write a book report. I only read a couple chapters of the book I did my report on, but after I handed it in, later that day she called my parents asking them if I plagiarized my report. When I came into class the next day, she asked me the same question, and I told her "No, I didn't.... I used spell check, but that's it". So she was pretty impressed with it and I obviously got an A on the report. Of course, I was probably 15 years old writing for a high school English class, so I'm not deluded into thinking my lowly book report had any real quality to it. Regardless though, I've always been proud of it.

    Not until recently have I decided that I might want to pursue if not a career in writing (creative or otherwise), then at least pursue a greater knowledge of it so I can be confident in my writing. Here is where my problem lies. Like I said earlier, I've been working dead end jobs since I was 16. Well, just a litter longer than a month ago, I got a new job, where you can eventually work your way up into making some serious money. Which is great, if it wasn't for the fact that I can't stand the damn job. I work 40 hours a week, at night, 2:00pm to 12:30am, 4 days a week. That doesn't leave me a whole lot of time, save for weekends and the one workday I have off to try and attend a proper school. Maybe I'm mistaken and the way my work schedule is laid out allows the perfect time frames to learn what I want to.

    I really don't want to quit this job so I can go to school, but I definitely don't want to keep this job forever either. After all that I've said, my question is pretty simple: What would be the best way to go about working my job, and trying to attend school to learn all I can about writing? Specifically creative writing, because in a perfect world, I would like to make money off of writing novels. Although, I realize that having knowledge about more practical forms of writing, whatever those are because I really don't know, would be more... well, practical.

    Just looking for some suggestions from people who might have been ( or are in) a similar situation to mine.
     
  2. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    Just start by writing short pieces when you can. As much as you can when you can it will build up into a short story or novel.
     
  3. doghouse
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    doghouse Member

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    40hrs is not a lot.

    That over four days is good. Some people work seven days.

    Shift-work can suck, I know the feeling. I've been there.

    You want to write novels? Most workshops or courses for creative writing concentrate on the short form, they don't cover some of the important aspects of writing novel lengths.

    I'm not really up with what are good courses and not, but I'd assume there are plenty of on-line courses that would allow you to work at your own pace, and in your own time -- so when you work isn't important.

    I'd suggest finding a good site with a community that focuses on writer feedback/critique. And as Elgaisma states, "...Start by writing...".

    Just my opinion.
     
  4. Kaymindless
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    Kaymindless Contributing Member

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    For writing, maybe it's because I wasn't going for an English degree, but school can get you the grammar and beat you with bad grades to be concise but the only real help I got towards writing was the poetry class I took, and I thought it was for short stories until day one.

    But, for school and work, it can be hard doing the traditional way when both are full time. It can kick you hard if you don't have the balls for it. Personally, I couldn't find the balance between full time work, full time school and family life. (I completely wiped out social life, no time for it.) But people do it, you just have to force yourself to do it. There are online courses for degrees but those, as far as I was aware, are specific times as well unless it's all self-pace which would seem a bit useless to me.

    Best way to do writing, work your job and write when you can.
     
  5. AmyHolt
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    AmyHolt Contributing Member

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    There are all sorts of on-line courses you can take that will allow you to work whatever crazy hours but since you work nights you can take classes during the day too. I will tell you this about writing, it's not usually a lucrative occupation. Unless you absolutely love it and would do it whether you got paid or not you may find it more productive to get training in something that actually pays. Sorry if you think that is unencouraging. However I will tell you that going back to school is always a plus and if you put forth the effort to do a good job you will never be sorry for getting a better education. Success to you!
     

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