Last Friday I officially completed the first year of my degree Graduate Diploma in Secondary Education. After I attended my last class and submitted my last assignment for the year, a strange feeling descended. A mingling of awe at how quickly the year had passed and joy that I was halfway through my qualification.
Embarking at the beginning of the year to study this on a part time basis seemed so huge and daunting. I found myself floundering slightly in first semester, and hit my stride halfway through the year.
The placements I have undertaken teaching Year 9 Humanities have been a revelation. I was nervous about whether I would enjoy teaching things other than creative writing and found to my surprise that I love the process of sharing knowledge and learning new things myself.
I now have time over summer to focus on my first love-writing. After failing on numerous occasions this year I am embarking again on the adventure called affectionally Nano, National Novel Writing in a Month. While I don't expect to complete a book in the time frame, my commitment will be to write every day 1,000 words and to complete at least 30,000 words. This is one goal that I might fail, but I figure that as long as I valiantly try I will succeed beyond my wildest expectations.
I have my buddies lined up to keep me on track and I've decided that I'm going to employ the biggest tool in my arsenal to achieve this goal-public accountability and shame. To that end I will be updating my blog EVERY single day with my word count. And if I haven't achieved it, I will be justifying to myself and (technically) the world (although the world won't read my blog, just a few of you select and treasured readers) as to why I haven't written my words for the day.
So wish me luck and come and join me if you like. I've signed up on Nano under my own name (public accountability and shame again) so let's buddy up and try to do this. Nano is like my white whale. The elusive beast I have been trying to capture for too many years to admit. I'm going to work my butt off to make this the year I do it.
Amra Pajalić is an award-winning author, an editor and teacher who draws on her Bosnian cultural heritage to write own voices stories for young people, who like her, are searching to mediate their identity and take pride in their diverse culture. She writes memoir, young adult and romance under the pen name Mae Archer.
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