One of the things about going back to school is that you meet a lot of new people. A lot. Like around a hundred or so of them.
I'm not going to lie. I knew that the fact that I'm already a published author would set me apart from the other students a little bit. I didn't want to flaunt it in anyone's face or make a super big deal about it. On the other hand, I felt it would be just as condescending to hide it. So when I was asked what my deal was, I answered. I didn't make a big deal about it, but I didn't lie about it either. I didn't bring it up unless asked either what my publishing history was or what I did.
So then comes the really awkward part. People wanted to know why the hell I was enrolled in an MFA Creative Writing program if I was already a published author. I explained how I wanted to work on my craft and then I got down to brass tacks and explained that I don't make enough money to support my family on my writing and that I needed a degree so I could teach.
It's embarrassing. I've been at this for a while. I have 10 published books. I don't live all that outrageously. It's still not anywhere near enough. It makes me feel like a failure.
I remember when I realized I was going to have to get a day job. I was embarrassed then, too. I also thought there was a good chance my writing career was over. Thank goodness that didn't happen. Still the idea that a person with multiple books published by one of the Big Six (I guess that's Big Five and I think it might have been Big Seven then) wasn't pulling in enough money to support two kids was mortifying. In the end, I decided it would be more embarrassing to have my house go into foreclosure and gutted it out.
I feel a little like I'm reliving all that again. Like I have to justify myself and my lack of success. And again I think it would be even more embarrassing to say that I had an opportunity to get the degree I needed to have a day job that centered on writing and didn't take it.
Tell me that I'll get through this ouchie part and it'll be okay, okay?