Monday, November 4, 2013


A lot of rethinking has gone on lately. First of all, I am forgoing the idea of NaNoWriMo for this year. As always, I have too many distractions, and I really need to clean those up before I can sit down and do some serious writing. Otherwise, I would just be spinning my wheels, writing trash and then getting sick of the daily defeat and giving up anyways. Basically, I'm just not into it this year.

As for the writing I will be doing, I have a research paper on the Varangian Guard, as well as the weekly postings for my class, which I am currently about three weeks behind on. And this little tidbit brings me to my biggest rethink so far.

I have come to the conclusion that I love history as a subject, and will always be interested in learning little bits about it as I go through life. However, I dislike the formal study of it. I dislike having to read about eras and places that don't interest me. I dislike having to read about those times and locations through the words of dry, dull, boring scholars. And I dislike having to write precisely structured, annotated, and formatted papers on the subject. In short, I am not cut out to be an academic historian. I'm more of the armchair variety, and I would like to go back to doing that, instead of losing all motivation to read about history at all.

So, I am going to switch programs soon. As it stands, a Masters in History has very little opportunity for job growth and earning potential. So, I am basically racking up student loan debt for something that will not pay me back. Right now I am looking at switching to a teaching credential. In the short term, it will mean a loss of about 12-15 credits that will be of no use to me, even if I go back for the Masters later. But in the long run, it will probably save me time and resources, as I will be earning a degree that will be of benefit. So, I just have to get through this class on the Byzantine Empire for now. And then it's off on a new quest.

And speaking of quests (the word for the day is "segue"), I spent the last three days playing role-playing games, and visiting with artists and writers and game designers who have been doing this stuff for 40+ years (for a full report on Gamehole Con, I will talk about it soon on my other blog). It was an exceptionally fun weekend, and I had an amazing time. And it also rekindled my interest in being a game-writer and designer. So, once I get to the point where I can write for myself, a lot of that will be in the RPG vein of things.

In the meantime, I am waiting for the new video card to arrive, so I can (hopefully) get my computer up and running. The first thing will be to do an actual cover for my Sword & Planet story, and get that out on Kindle. Then I have a few stories that I would like to finish. And of course, there's all of those lovely RPG ideas.


Keith West said...

Sorry to hear you're not doing NaNoWriMo. I decided to write 50,000 words of short fiction instead of a novel. That way I'll at least have something if I don't hit the 50k.

Your comments about studying history remind me of Robert E. Howard and his attitudes towards academics in general. So you're in good company there.

I think your decision to teach is probably a good one. I would hate to see you pursue something that will only lead you to jobs where you have to say a lot of words that begin with the letter W. You know, things like "Would you like fries with that?" and "Welcome to Wal-Mart." While teaching may not be the most appealing and well-paying job, a teacher who can bring an enthusiasm for history to the classroom is someone who is doing society a true service.

Charles Gramlich said...

I came close to going on for an advanced degree in history, but in the end biological psychology was more interesting.