makar [ˈmækər]
n (Literature / Poetry) Scot a creative artist, esp a poet
[a Scot variant of maker]

Sunday, January 25, 2015

When I studied scriptwriting, many years ago, I remember there was a lot of discussion about turning points - an incident or opportunity which propels the character onto a new course - and I feel as if I'm currently experiencing that moment of altered direction. Until last week, I had thought, only fleetingly, about the possibility of quitting my PhD. It was more a reaction or a joke than anything I was seriously considering. Then all of a sudden it came to me, quite clearly, that what I needed to do was to walk away, at least for the time being. I thought the PhD would give me purpose, structure, a rejuvenated sense of self-esteem, but all it has done is create a lot of stress and frustration and anxiety. I am not going to discuss all the details of my decision, but in short, everything felt wrong and I had to do something to change that. I want to focus on my children, I want to enjoy being a mum, and I want to lead a creative life, full of joy and enthusiasm and discovery. Despite what many said, I don't think I was brave to embark on a PhD; I was playing it safe. It was my safety net. It made me feel secure about pursuing a creative life, but I need to be stronger; to believe in myself; to have the guts to do what I want to do. To just be the ridiculous person I am and stop apologizing for it. Time is too precious to waste.

So I'm going to just get on with it. Write my novel, take an art class, throw myself into life. Later, when my circumstances are different, I may go back and continue my PhD journey, but for now, it is on hold. I feel lighter having made the decision: more interested in the world, and in writing and in making art; more excited about the year ahead and all it will bring. Long may this feeling last!

Photo by Orla


  1. I think the decision to walk away can be the bravest one of all. Well done for making it, and may that feeling of lightness, creativity and joy continue to suffuse your days.


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