Wednesday, 22 December 2010

Decision Between the Open University and Writing

I've recently had to make a difficult decision between continuing my studies with the Open University towards a Geosciences degree and leaving it for a year to pursue my dream of writing a novel, something I have always wanted to do.

It would seem that as I am getting older, I feel the need to push myself towards goals I maybe should have started or finished before now. The concerns about my ageing however is for another blog post.

The Open University 

I started studying with the Open University two years ago. Originally planning on doing a psychology degree, but after getting my knickers well and truly in a twist with a level 1 social science course, I decided to change direction and go for something more solidly science based. I am interested in the world around me and the how's and whys so chose geosciences. A study of our planet.

I've just completed the last of my level one courses with a very taxing 60 point basic science course that covered biology, chemistry and physics as well as the more interesting geology and global warming. It was difficult especially as I had health issues with my youngest and don't forget my very excellent excuse of working full time as well. I managed to get to the end however, despite these things. The next course, geology, started in November but I really wasn't ready to pick up the books that quickly so looked at my choices and found an environmental module starting in February. My problem was, it really is a big level 2 course whereas the geology was only 30 points (equate points to time required 60 is more than 30)

This is where I started to get confused about what I want to do in 2011. If I could have done the geology I could probably write as well, but I doubt I could write and do the 60 point environmental course. The option was taking a year off and doing the geology course next November.


Since I was at school I can remember enjoying writing. Wanting to write a book but I never did anything about it. Now as I rapidly approach 40 I decide I will do it, no matter what. I will write it, I will edit it to within an inch of it's life, do all the writery things I've been reading about on writery blogs and I will the get myself an agent. I will.

The problem here is that writing is time consuming. It is a little less pushy than doing a course because I don't have deadlines banging on the door. Saying that though, I really don't intend for this to take me the rest of my life, so I do what I can when I can. Between work, kids, housework and procrastination I do try and keep my word count going. My current first draft is on, at this point 20.5 thousand words. If I take the year off the OU I can concentrate on the book. I really want to do this book but feel a little guilty just letting go of the OU.

I had to make this decision by today as that is the registration deadline for the environmental course. I made the decision. This books needs finishing and a year off gives me that time. I just feel as though I'm letting myself down a little even though I'm still working on something.


  1. Rebecca - Congratulations on your decision. I am right there with you on pursuing your dream. Your university plans will still be there if you ever want to finish that degree. Follow your dream...

  2. take the year off with no guilt- OU is still there in a year - put in deadlines tho'- a year travels fast if you don't - be realistic work on book you might not get agent straight away but the more that is acheived bookwise the less to do when OU comes back

    whatever - do enjoy your year

    Alberta Ross

  3. Margot - I'm definitely going to try to follow my dream. It will be hard work but absolutely worth it!

    Alberta - I think that's a good idea about the deadlines. I could definitely lose a year if I don't set them!

    Thank you both.