05 December 2012

IWSG: Master of the Arts

This post is in participation with hundreds of insecure writers who dedicate the first Wednesday of every month to post about insecurities: doubts and fears that we have or have conquered. Check out the Insecure Writer's Support Group for more information and a list of the other participating writers. 

Those of you who have been following along are aware that I've spent the last several months working on my thesis toward an MA in science-medical writing at Johns Hopkins University in Washington, D.C.

Today I am pleased to share with you some good news: my thesis has been accepted (with revisions) and in a few short weeks I will officially be a Master of the Arts.

I have decided that this should involve some kind of secret ceremony possibly involving robes. My friend Sarah Eutsler suggested that the Old Masters of the Arts would bestow upon me a letter with which to fight crimes against grammar. I'm hoping for K, which is my spirit letter, but I'd settle for S or L.

In reality, there will be a thesis reading this Friday during which each member of the class will read an excerpt of his/her thesis, approximately six minutes. It should be awesome, and I am only a little nervous. (Another friend named Sarah has offered to bring "a little something to help me relax" beforehand, but I think I'm better off without, although I greatly appreciate the sentiment!) The worst thing that could happen is that I fall flat on my face in front of a hundred-odd people, but mostly a hundred-odd people who know me and/or will likely be doing the same one day.

And that's all she wrote!

It won't be all I wrote, though, because the thing about thesis is that it's not an end. It's just a milestone in the process. A few weeks ago I discovered that my student membership to the National Association of Science Writers is expiring at the end of February and in order to become a full member I have to submit five published pieces.

Considering I currently have zero published pieces, the solution is obvious: I have to start submitting.

I probably won't make the February deadline, but that's okay. I'm glad to have an impetus to move on to the next step. It seems wildly arrogant to say that I think my writing is ready to be published, but then I think probably a lot of you who are writers know all about how writing almost never seems "done."

At any rate, it's time to start submitting. So a new thing to be insecure about, my friends! And in the meantime, success with my thesis. It's always nice to have some success.