If I had a million dollars…

I would just stay home and write.
I would take courses about writing and do mentorship programs without thinking about it.
I would travel to various places so that I would have things to write about.
I would.
I would.
I would.

Around this time last year, I was focusing on something other than writing. I had started to focus on the writing a month before but then then an exam came up at school and I decided to stop everything and focus on that. For four straight weeks, I did nothing but work and study aromatherapy. In the end, I failed the practicum.

It was the best thing that ever happened to me.

I spent the last three years going to school to study various holistic healing practices. It is a field that I have been interested in for a long time and I believe that on some level, I have a “calling” for the work. However, my goals for taking this course wasn’t really all that altruistic. It wasn’t so that I can go out into the world and help others – although that was part of it – it was so that I can do something to make money that was outside the corporate sphere. Helping people out was a nice extra.

The fact is, I needed to learn all of the modalities, so see what this work holds, because it is now integrated into what I write about and the themes that my novel(s) will eventually have. For weeks, months, I have been racked with guilt because I haven’t really touched any of the case work. Instead, I have been focusing on the written word.

I have never felt better. I think my eyes seem clearer. I feel lighter. My body is stronger. I know that my writing will help others because it also helps me.

I think the facilitator from the Banff Writing in Style for Children had the Vermont College of Fine Arts send me their course catalogue for their MFA program in children’s writing. It seems absolutely asinine for me to go and do another course. Spend another ten to fifteen grand on school. The program is a dream for me really. I knew someone in Montreal who took and loved it. Half of the program you do through correspondence and there is a ten day residency.

It is also $7500 or so a semester.

Oh, but if someone handed me the moon and said, “Here Mel, here is $20,000. I know you have been to school and back again, but this is it baby. Take the money and run.”

I so would.


About Melanie J. Fishbane

My novel, MAUD: A Novel Inspired by the Life of L.M. Montgomery was published in 2017 through Penguin Random House on April 25, 2017. I hold an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from the Vermont College of Fine Arts. Here I talk about my writing process, things I love, and creative people who inspire me.
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One Response to If I had a million dollars…

  1. Shelby says:

    Congratulations Melanie Fishbane, MFA. 🙂

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