1 Year, 5 Years, 10 Years

I now find myself only a couple of weeks away from graduating University. This is a scary time but what makes it even worse is that the question on everyone’s lips seems to be what am I going to do with my life.

In case you’re new to my blog I’ll spend a second filling you in. I’m a Literature and Creative writing joint honours student at the University of East Anglia, Norfolk, UK. It’s a three year course, most of which is spent reading and writing essays on books (and I don’t just mean classic texts but all manner of things). However, towards the end of the degree in particular I’ve had the chance to practice my fictional writing skills through taking more creative writing modules. I chose my university not just because the Creative Writing course at UEA is the top in the country but because I love Norwich as a city. And I wanted to study a joint degree so that I could practice not only my analytical skills but also my writing skills – which are probably more important in the real world, right?

So that’s me. Now that my years in education are nearly over I’ve got to start thinking about my next steps. I’ve always been one of those people who plan things meticulously (probably to the great annoyance of others who are not like me) and so I’ve always set myself goals. I wanted to get good GCSEs and achieve solid A Level grades, then get into UEA and receive a 2:1 or better for my efforts. All those targets were pretty easy to set. Education is arranged to push you through to the next stage, it’s effectively done for you, so it’s all pretty simple to plan. Now the world is my oyster and I don’t have a clue how to plan the next bit on my own.

Tumblr Girl

Where do I see myself in 1 year from now?

1 year isn’t actually a very long time. I see myself living at home and working. That doesn’t sound very interesting I know but after moving away (300 miles away) for 3 years I feel like I’ve lost touch with not just friends but where I come fro. I’d love to spend some time reconnecting whilst earning some savings. Maybe I’ll try and spice things up with some summer plans, who knows.

Where do I see myself in 5 years?

In 5 years time hopefully I’ll be well on the way to having a successful career. 5 years sounds like long enough to get my foot in the door. I have quite a long list of places I’d like to visit – Paris, Venice, America, Iceland and India to name and few – and hopefully I’ll have managed to tick a fair few off. In fact I’d really like to spend some time working abroad, most likely America, but I’m not sure how to organise that yet. Hmmm.  The next thing is that I’d like to  have bought my own home by 2021 since paying rent is such a waste of money. Then I’ll decorate it with all manner of cute things and place Yankee candles in every room and have a huge bookcase library where I can store all my precious books. That’s domestic bliss right there.

Where do I see myself in 10 years?

After 10 years it’s really quite hard to say. It’s difficult to imagine myself as a 30/31 year old. I suppose the main thing is travel. By that time I hope to have seen a large proportion of the places on my list now. I’m sure I’ll add more with each passing year but it would be nice to have done the initial stuff by the time I reach my thirties. Hopefully I’ll be living and working somewhere far more spectacular than Taunton so I’m surrounded by interesting people and places to write about. I’d like to have at least one novel written by the time I’m 30 and maybe have it published, who knows. Perhaps I’ll have read 1,000 books on Goodreads too, that would be wonderful. More than anything though I hope to be happy. That’s all anyone can really wish for in life, to be wonderfully, irrevocably happy.

journals, notebooks

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9 thoughts on “1 Year, 5 Years, 10 Years

  1. Congratulations, first of all!
    I was never a planner. Whenever I chose to take the path of reason, I ended up with the consequences of my emotions.
    But I know this: Success is waking up excited, every day, about what life has for you!

    Hope you would achieve whatever you believe is right for you

  2. I’m really goal-oriented too and now education is over, as you say, setting them has got a whole lot harder! Thinking ahead to next year, let alone ten years’ time is just too daunting 🙈

  3. Just read this post! Sounds like you are mature beyond your years. I was just in the UK twelve months ago and I understand the desire to travel. You’ve had some interesting studies and I’m sure it will pay off. My suggestion is to do and try as much as you can, as fast as you can. It will feed your passion, and it’s more fun that way. Sounds like you’re on your way to figuring that out.
    Would you write a review of a graphic novel my partners and I have coming out in October?
    If so, send me a note back on my Rob Harmon or Robert Soul Facebook pages.
    Ciao,
    Rob

  4. New to the blog and had a small world moment learning you are studying at UEA. I did six months there several years ago while completing my writing undergrad here in Ohio, USA, and I too fell a little in love with Norwich. I ran a lot while there, down the main road to the Golden Triangle and then north around the campus to the neighborhoods there. That was England for me. That place. And the library stacks where I discovered Joseph Conrad, Raymond Carver (a distinctly American short story writer; ironic I had to travel abroad to discover his works) and Andre Dubus (another American writer who worked primarily in the novella form).

    Awesome to read this post of yours and be reminded of those times. I did a post a few months back about my time there.

    I have to wish you luck as you move from college I to the world of work. I’m with you: writing skills matter a great deal, though it’s proven challenging to find ways to use my skills outside of teaching, which I do gladly. It’s bold of you to have chosen such a course. I’ll bet you may have had to field more than a few questions like “What are you going to do with that concentration?” during your time as a student, from without and from within. That you’re looking to the future with writing as a goal means you made it through the doubts, whatever they may have been. There’s strength in such perseverance, though it takes constant work to keep up such strength.

    Thanks for the trip with this post. If you’re already off on your journey toward those first-year goals of yours, good luck. I look forward to continue following you on your journey.

    • Thank you so much for your comment! It is a very small world because you’re not the first to get in touch and tell me you’ve been to UEA! I’m very familiar with the Golden Triangle and I too got into running whilst at Uni. I think the lake is a massive encouragement – you just want to run around it! I am familiar with Raymond Carver but not the others. UEA does a great American Literature course so I’m not surprised you found a number of great American writers during your time at UEA. Yes I’ve had a lot of questions ‘what are you going to do with that degree?’ ‘how is that going to be useful?’ but I’ve now got my first full time permanent job at a publishing company so I showed them! I’m also working on my first novel but it’s only at the teething stage at the moment (8000 words). I hope your time since UEA has been filled with beautiful writing and incredible experiences!

      • Great news on the job! And in publishing. Color me jealous. I like teaching, but I’ve always dreamed a bit about getting the chance to try my hand working in any capacity in the publishing industry. Best of luck to you there.

        And oddly enough, I found Carver and Dubus independently of the coursework. Conrad came from a Modernist Fiction seminar; the others came after I followed up on the suggestions of previous teachers of mine I hadn’t made time to check out. I found both at the right time; while I’ve drifted away aesthetically from their style and subject matter lately (I’m reading Andrea Barrett’s Archangel currently, and finding her writing very, very engrossing) I still feel some of my work owes them both and their work the debt of influence.

        8000 words and counting makes for a good start on a novel. I like how you call it teething; a fitting metaphor to describe both the relative newness of the project and your time working on it. I hope the work stays fresh and energizing for you. Keep at it.

        Best to you,
        Patrick

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