Saturday, March 8, 2014



(Probably a boringly long post about my life, sorry)

I gave myself the second half of last year to write my novel, no other commitments (other than being a wife and mother, of course). RSI restrictions meant I was writing only a couple of hours a day. I got to nearly half-way in that time, not as far as I'd wanted but still far further than I had ever reached and I was pretty happy with that achievement. I'd had struggles at the beginning, but I'd finally got into a bit of a groove.

Then mum told me about her cancer and I was a bit thrown by that and unable to do anything much for a little while. Then there was Christmas, and school holidays with the kids home all day which makes it hard to write. I've never been the most self-disciplined of people. I totally lost that groove of writing and was flailing around a bit wildly looking for something to do with myself.

So, bit of a spur of the moment thing, I decided to go back to uni and do a Bachelor of Human Nutrition (which is Science, I already have a Bachelor of Arts) just because I was interested in the subject because of my own obesity. I thought it might lead somewhere, although I didn't want to be a dietician. I knew I had until week 4 to make a final decision without having to pay anything or getting a fail for withdrawing.

Well, week 4 has arrived. And I've decided to drop out of uni and go back to finishing my novel.

I wasn't an easy decision. I've been enjoying studying and I've been doing well at it. But I've become more and more conscious of the enormous commitment in terms of both time and money, and for what at the end? No idea.

I'm not giving up on study. I'm refusing to give up on my novel.

And if I do one day go back to study more, why am I doing another undergraduate degree? I already have an undergraduate degree, and a graduate certificate. I should be progressing, not going backwards. And I'd like to have some idea about a career path before I embark on years of study and tens of thousands of dollars in fees.

And I feel a bit lonely at uni. More than I do at home, alone. When I did my first undergraduate degree I was the same age as everyone else and had a great social life. When I did my grad cert in Editing, half the class was mature aged women! We had a couple of outings, but mainly we all had young families to get home to, it was very much part time. But now I am there all day, and more than twice the age of all my classmates. That doesn't bother me in the classroom setting, and everyone is very friendly, but they are not my friends. I sit and have my lunch alone, and study alone, and have my cup of tea in the science centre alone. I don't need to join a study group for help, and if I joined and offered to help others then I'd feel like I'm masquerading as a teacher. I'm the same age as them! I think I've been mistaken for one a few times already. So one reason I went to uni was to be out of the lonely house and amongst people, but it's not really working out.

I already gave up one subject because I thought the study load would be too heavy, and doing three was ok for the first few weeks as long as I studied every night and all weekend, but now big assignments are looming as well. I'd never see my family. I worry about how to manage the weekends I need to visit my mum and yet still get my work done. And the stress probably isn't helping my blood pressure.

So, have I convinced you? I guess I'm trying to convince myself that I am not a slacker. Because I know I am, in many things. I'm going to get this novel finished and polished and prove everyone (ie myself) wrong.


  1. Oh Nat! What a big decision! Whew...
    I understand about the being on a roll with your creativity and not wanting it to stop. I'm not talented or creative myself, but I think I understand it in others.
    You know, if you do decide to study Nutrition again later, you can always go back to it, it'll always be there.
    But the time you have to spend with your family? That's now. The time you have now, is what's important and you need to spend it in a way that makes you fulfilled and happy.
    So, good on you Natalie for coming to such a big decision like this. It couldn't have been easy.

  2. Good for you! Get into the writing groove again--you'll be there for your family and engage in what you want to do. And, from my point of view, don't worry about "boring people" with the stories from your life. I read your blog to learn more about you; not necessarily what you're eating and how you're moving.

  3. Thanks guys! I'm still feeling a bit of guilt/regret/uncertainty but I really think it is the right decision. I got to play a board game with the husband and kids yesterday! And I can fit in a lot more exercise too.