Projects, School, and Updates

Hey, everyone.

I know it’s been a while. Part of me wants to apologize for that, and part of me doesn’t. After all, I’m working more than ever before and school has become more demanding than ever before. With our move-in date coming up and life getting more hectic, I don’t always have time to sit down and write an update.

Luckily, I’ve found a quiet spot in my morning to tell my followers what’s been going on with me. And, I hope, you’ll be able to find a quiet spot to read.

We’ll start with school – because I know my family members are going to want an update on what’s going on with my education.

When it comes to this semester, I have a few points of reflection I’d like to share about being a commuter student.

First of all, I’m glad I’m never going to be commuting again. Granted, I won’t be living on-campus in a dorm – but I’ll only be living fifteen minutes away, and I don’t count that as a commute. To someone who’s been driving thirty-five minutes each way, I’m counting that as a break. Plus, with Austin and his ability to drop me off right at my building, I won’t have to spend two hours waiting for the bus, riding onto campus, and walking between classes every single day.

This semester, I had a really hard time keeping up – especially when the weather got aggressive or we faced problems with the car. After all, sharing a car is anything but easy. It’s confusing and frustrating, sometimes. I wouldn’t change our decision to stick to one car. It saved us more money than I can begin to explain here, and we needed that money for the move. But it didn’t make the situation any easier.

The moral of the story is, I made it to class. But it wasn’t always on-time and it wasn’t always as often as I’d like.

Also, MSU classes are hard. Like, NYU hard – and even more demanding. If I’d known what I was stepping into, I might not have signed up for the classes that I did.

Well, that’s not entirely true. I had three days to schedule, so there’s only so much I could have done. I pretty much picked the only options I had left. But still. If I could go back and change my design class to something a little more within my reach, I absolutely would have done it. Honestly, I would have done anything to avoid the InDesign nightmare I’ve been facing.

Print journalism? Not for me.

My other classes weren’t quite so difficult. I loved Visualizing Information (one of my required journalism courses) and I’m doing really well in my Women’s Literature class. But if anyone ever tells you that Economics is easy – feel free to smack them. And hard. Because it isn’t. And, for the life of me, I will never understand why that course is required for a journalism degree. I already took statistics. Leave me alone.

Anyway, I’m not sure what I’ll be looking at – GPA-wise. My goal is a 3.0, as any student with a challenging course-load would hope. I would be happier with a 3.5 – but I didn’t even manage that at NYU. So, we’ll see where the next couple of weeks take us. As final papers and projects are graded, I’ll just have to wait and see. I have one final left – Economics – next Tuesday. And, since the final is such a huge part of our grade, I have to do well. If I don’t, I’ll fail the class outright.

No pressure or anything.

Wish me luck.

I’ve learned to avoid classes like that. And classes that have super-strict attendance policies. I get that I’m paying to go to school, but I have other priorities – and it’s nice to be able to prioritize my time based on the most important thing going on that day. Unfortunately, classes with severe attendance policies don’t give me that freedom. Besides which, I learn better on my own.

On the plus side, for the next year, I’ll be able to do exactly that.

My new schedule is a mixture of online and on-campus courses (but mostly online, because I pulled a 4.0 when I took online classes at LCC).

Before I tell you what courses I’m taking, I want to make something a little clearer for you. At MSU, we’re only required to have a major. We’re not required to have a minor – or to study anything outside of our designated major. That gives me a little room to play around with my schedule and take some classes that are really going to help me in the freelance community – since, after all, that’s where I want to be.

Most of my journalism required courses are done – and those that aren’t done can be completed my senior year. So, next year looks something like this:

Fall 2016:

Principles of Advertising

Web Design

Writing and Reporting News I

Understanding Media & Information

Introduction to Marketing

Spring 2016:

Creativity & Entreprenuership

Literature, Cultures, and Identities

People and Environment

Writing and Reporting News II

The majority of those classes are online – and Austin landed an online schedule too (because, you know, programming). So, needless to say, I’m pretty excited to get my office set up. I’ll be getting a new desk and chair, plus a couch to lounge on and my own printer. I’m stoked. I really need it. At the moment, I’m taking advantage of Austin’s room and multiple monitors – because whenever I work at home, I fall asleep on my bed. Sharing a bedroom and an office? Never do it. Period.

We’re already at nearly 1000 words, so I’m going to try to keep the rest brief for you. Beyond 2000 words, you’re going to get bored and slightly angry with me.

Moving on, let’s talk about work – for a minute.

My income has gone up, which is great. But so has my stress level. It looks like I’m going to be working for the majority of my summer vacation. Then again, when you’re living in your own apartment, that’s expected.

I’ve started working with SEO and webpages, in addition to my usual writing jobs. It involves HTML coding and awful lot of practice, but I think I’m getting somewhere with it. The knowledge could be useful, in the future. Especially when it comes to marketing my own websites.

Even so, I work about eight hours a day – sometimes more, depending on the workload. I miss being able to take three or four days off a week – which paid the bills, but I always knew I could do better. Now that I’m doing better, I wish I didn’t have to. I suppose that’s how it goes, though.

(I burned my finger pulling a pie out of the oven. It hurts. The rest of this post may be shorter than anticipated.)

A few more updates for you.

This summer, I hope, if I can get enough free time and adjust my workload – I’ll be writing more short stories. There are so many projects I’ve been forced to put off because I’ve just been too busy to handle them. So, let me share a few of them with you.

I want to release my freelance writing eBook this summer, “So You Want to Be a Freelance Writer.” I’m pretty excited about it. I know a lot of people who are interested in writing for a living, but just aren’t sure how to get there.  My intention is to help them. The book will be released as an eBook via Amazon – hopefully in June or July.

Also, you may have noticed that I’ve made some changes to Misadventures. After my last post, I had an idea. I rather big idea. And I decided it was time to cut down Misadventures to the important parts – the posts that I’m most proud of. So, when you look back in my archives, that’s all you’ll be able to find.

I realized that my posts tell a story. Not my recent posts after my move back home, but my posts from June of 2014 until May of 2015. Those tell a really big story. I’d even call it a memoir.

So, I’m going to turn them into a memoir. It’ll be called, “Straight Edge”. And, after the initial editing process and adding in my own words, I think it’ll be an interesting read.

That won’t be released via Amazon, though. I’m going to try to go all the way, with that one. It just depends on the market, and how long it takes me to finish.

Those are my major projects right now. My hope is that, over the summer, I’ll be able to share some interesting tips, tricks, and adventures in Lansing. I’ll also have my annual vacation update for you.

Be excited. Be very excited.

I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I’m thirty-four days from moving into my first apartment with my best friend. It’s a weird feeling, but I know it’s going to be an adventure like no other.

Until then,

Cassie

 

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Back to the Story

If you’ve been keeping up with my merry misadventures since the summer of 2014, I want to extend my thanks. Nearly two years later, we’re hit 51K views and over 500 followers. Sometimes, I doubt anyone is bothering to read. After all, life has become increasingly more normal as I’ve grown better accustomed to living at home. I’ve run out of updates. I’ve resorted to pieces about anxiety, depression, past relationships, and writing prompts.

I don’t apologize for these – I know they aren’t exactly The Ritz of blog posts, but they aren’t a Motel 6, either. They’re enough to keep my followers interested. But that effect is only going to hold for so long.

I’m looking for glue, you see. I’m looking for content that matters. For a while, I figured content about my life was useless. Sure, writing about my experiences gives me an outlet – but why should you care?

That’s what I’ve been struggling with. What do I have to say about my life that has the right to hold your interest? Time is valuable, and we are a country of people with the constant motivation to do seventy-five things before lunch – eighty, if we can manage it.

But I finished another book this morning (I’m sure I’ve mentioned a few dozen times that I read in my “spare” time). As usual, I picked a nonfiction how-to guide. This time, it wasn’t about understanding economics or mental health or the republican party. This time, it was about my craft. It was about writing. And, if you’ve done any significant amount of reading on this blog, you should already know where I’m going with this.

On Writing, by Stephen King, was published in the early 2000s. A sizable number of the tips provided in the book don’t apply anymore – Stephen King didn’t have a blog during his college years, and he certainly didn’t search for agents and publishers via Gmail.

Despite the technological differences in our experiences, the book opened my eyes. The first and last sections were devoted entirely to King’s life – and a particularly bad experience with a blue van. Did these experiences have an impact on me, as a writer? Of course. They were enlightening as hell. But that wasn’t my main takeaway.

It wouldn’t have mattered if I was a writer or a reader. If I had never picked up a pen in my life (or, more accurately, if I had never learned how to efficiently use a keyboard), I still would’ve found myself captured by the story. It didn’t matter that I was reading to learn how to write. It didn’t matter that I was reading about Stephen King. The whole thing could have been fiction. I didn’t care.

I just liked the story.

I sat down to write a post about apartment hunting with Austin. Believe me, I have some interesting stories to tell you – misadventures, even. (Wouldn’t you like some of those?) But I wanted to give you this background information first. I wanted you to understand that, now, I understand.

This blog is my memoir. A very long, spaced-out memoir – but a way to tell my story. I’ll look back at this in four or five years (if I ever stop), and I’ll find my memories. These are my beginnings as a writer. And, even if I never get published in a magazine – even if my novel never sees the light of day – I’ll at least have this.

And so will you.

Love always,

Cassie