A short guide to following your dreams

21 04 2009

After many nights of talking and counting up the pennies it was clear. I wasn’t going to be able to afford to study my MLitt course at the full time distance learning option.

I was ready to give up. Postgrad learning was obviously not meant to be.

I’d knuckle down, get a job in an office somewhere locally. Keep on writing of course, but never experience the joy of putting MLitt after my name. Hell, most published authors don’t have an MLitt anyway. Who needs it?

And my dreams of becoming a professor somewhere one day. Pfah! Who was I kidding anyway? Teenage mother, mentally ill, working class woman. Out of my league.

Maybe I could teach others at some point but I’d need to get a few more publications under my belt.

Maybe I could retrain and teach secondary school English to spotty teenagers, most of whom would be wishing they were somewhere else.


My long suffering, beautiful, warm husband said ‘No!’

He said, ‘Jenny, you worked really hard to get your degree, with distinctions. Glasgow University is one of the best in the country, top ten or something. You’ve been given an unconditional offer to do postgrad study at one of the best Universities in Britian. You have to take it.’

So we thought about other options.

If I study part time, campus based, we could just about afford it.

If my mum and dad let me stay at their place one night a week I could do it, in a practical sense.

I emailed my mum.

She spoke to my dad.

They said ‘okay’.

I emailed the department and they said ‘yes, we can switch you, we’d love to have you.’

So this September, I begin a new journey as a student. A mature postgrad student at an actual brick university. Okay, so it’s ten, fifteen years later than I maybe should have done. But I’m going.

Its going to take me two years of living on a student budget, spending more than five hours a week on a train travelling 200 miles each way, living with my parents one night a week (having left home at 16), and juggling all this with writing, working part time in a museum and most importantly being a mum to my kids but do you know what?

I can’t wait.




5 responses

29 04 2009
Mars Buckley

Hi Jenny,

I am so happy to hear your good news. You deserve the opportunity to study for your MLitt. Your determination is to be admired. You do not give up on something once you have your heart set on it.

I’ve been a huge fan of yours for years.

Wishing you the very Best of Luck for the future,

Kind regards,

Mars x

2 05 2009

Thanks Mars,
How is your own writing coming on?

2 05 2009
Mars Buckley

Due to a severe bout of depression, for the past few months, I’ve neglected my writing. It is my intention to start again (hopefully) as soon as the weekend is over.

Having said that, I’m completely lacking in confidence, Jenny.

Anyway, hope you and yours have a wonderful weekend.

Lots of Love,

Mars x

5 05 2009
Graeme Talboys

Just caught up with this. Great news!

8 08 2009
Carol McKay

Hi Jenny,
I read these two posts and really felt for you. You’re right, it’s horribly expensive to study the MLitt but I didn’t realise it was as much as 4k. Shocking. Anyway, I’m so glad you’ve decided to follow the dream and I hope it’s worth every penny and all that time and effort. I’m looking forward to hearing all about it!
All the best,

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