Friday, 26 August 2016

To PhD or not to PhD? - Eloise Williams

That is the question.

But what is the answer?

I am one of those people who more or less, averagely, failed at school.

I hung out with mates worrying about developing spots, the way my calves wobbled when Erin Jackson kicked my foot, the size of my – everything, what I should wear, what I shouldn’t wear, what I didn’t have that I positively needed to wear, why all the boys I fancied wanted to go out with all my friends, why all my friends were snogging all the boys I fancied, why I was invisible, why I wasn’t invisible, whether the trend for leggings with dots was a good look for me,  whether anything that came out of my mouth didn’t make me sound like a total loser, why I wasn’t Molly Ringwald.
(Me - definitely not being Molly Ringwald)
With all these thoughts crowding my brain and my planned marriage to Ralph Macchio AKA The Karate Kid (the old / real version) in the pipeline, I had little time for revision and even less faith in my ability to be able to do anything well.
And this is something I’ve carried right through my life. A deep sense of disbelief that I can ‘do’ anything.

My release from my particular neurosis comes through my writing. It’s an escape, a release, a place where I know I can lose my real self. It’s no secret that I was an actress for a long time before I started writing and this was just another way to hide who I am and how challenged I am in MANY, MANY ways.

(My glittering acting career)

I’ve done a Diploma (Pass), a Degree (a Desmond), a Masters (Distinction – they clearly got the results mixed up)… but a PhD? A PhD??????

Surely not me.

Me, whose ears have been the same big size since I was born? Me, with the wonky teeth and the inability to string a sentence together coherently unless it’s written – and then still questionable at times. Me, with the …. I could go on.

Instead I’ve decided to be brave.
Now, I am never going to be a Maya Angelou or a Toni Morrison. I may never win the next Orange Prize for Fiction (although I’ve planned my eighties style outfit for the occasion) and I may never be a Nobel Peace Prize winner (I’ve not even planned an outfit for that… I mean one has to be realistic) but I do have some things to say. Surely.

Surely EVERYONE has something to say by the time they get to their mid-forties?

*Quakes at the thought of trying to speak in intelligent manner*

I don’t know. Really. I don’t. But I’m going to find out.  

 As (the Goddess) J.K. Rowling said

“It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all - in which case, you fail by default.”


She is, of course, right. So I’m starting with a hope of producing a brilliant YA / Adult crossover novel and I’m concentrating on giving it everything I have.

I’m going to need a lot of luck and an ounce of self-confidence if anyone has one to spare?

Wish me the best of.... I’m going in!



Susan Price said...

You certainly succeed in writing amusingly. Made me laugh. Good luck with the PhD.

Elen C said...

Ooh, where are you doing it? I'm just at the end of my first year and loving it!

Eloise Williams said...

Glad I could make you laugh Susan!
And at Aberystwyth Uni Elen.

Rowena House said...

Very best of luck with the book & academic bits too. You inspire me to think again.

Eloise Williams said...

Thanks Rowena and I am a big fan of thinking again so I'm glad I could inspire you! :)