It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything about my writing life. So let’s go!
I recently submitted my second packet work to my mentor. It’s my final semester and I’m writing my thesis now. It’s a lot to think about, and the added pressure that this project is going to define me as I get my MFA is just an extra dollop of stress and anxiety on top of my usual anxiety.
I want to present my best work, I always want to be able to show people what my best work is, but I’ve come to a realization that this project will never be my best work.
I’m falling in and out of love with this piece on a near daily basis. Some days I like it and some days I think it needs to die in a trash fire. But this goes beyond the usual Writer Thing writers do. It’s a urban fantasy/fantasy fiction/paranormal type piece (I used to call it suburban fantasy but paranormal probably fits better). The problem with this piece is that it’s entirely too contemporary for me.
I’m a huge lover of fantasy and my writing voice reflects that. Contemporary is not even close to my favorite. It’s my least favorite genre, to be honest. But the story I’m trying to write goes beyond just the genre, since it’s a story about grief and accepting the loss of a loved one.
But all I want to do is write my queer elven princesses and lesbian mermaids.
It’s a struggle.
But sometimes the things you want to do aren’t the things you need to do. I know this project will be a good thing to have in my pocket, regardless of how I feel about it. Plenty of authors have written books they hated, but the point was that it was a book they wrote.
Something is better than nothing and I’m 50 pages deep into this project and I still have another 100 or so to go. Whether or not I complete this book when my semester is over is a totally different ball game.
Not that I know how to play sports anyway.
I sort of missed yesterday’s log. We spent most of the day after workshop in the library doing some work. I plotted out the new parts of my thesis and I have a lot of things to do, but I have a new motivation for this story now.
I got some great news this morning and I feel like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders.
That, and we got an earlier flight that gets us home a little sooner and just the idea that I can sleep in my own bed a little bit sooner makes me so happy.
This residency is almost over. Soon, my last semester will begin and then I’ll be graduating and then I’ll be a post-graduate writer and that’s just… a whole plethora of emotions, y’all.
We’ve mostly had the day to ourselves today. There was the option to go on the Tahoe Excursion to go into the city and do some ice skating and such. We decided to hole up in a classroom in the library and get some work done.
It’s always nice to help other bounce ideas around for their work and getting the chance to work on my own things without the feeling of being rushed because I only have a certain amount of time to do it before I have class again was nice. I’m still incredibly tired and ready to go back to sleeping on my own bed.
We also had meetings with our mentors today. Since my mentor isn’t technically hired by the school yet (paperwork troubles), I met with my “department” head and he lined things out for me and answered basic questions. We’re then going to call my actual mentor on Tuesday to discuss our semester plan.
I’m both ready for this semester and also not. I just can’t believe this is my final semester and I’ll be graduating come August.
Goodbye Julie. We’re going to miss you. You’ll always have a home with our tribe. You can come back to us when you’re ready.
We love you.
It’s the first day of classes at my residency and I’ve only cried twice! (Once was cause I got sweet puppy kisses from Casey, the WCYA service dog)
The piece I had wanted to use as my thesis might not be my thesis. I’m working with my previous mentor’s editor this coming semester, a woman who’s really cool and awesome and I’m only a little intimidated
But it’s been so nice seeing everyone from the tribe and I know this residency is going to be good for me in a lot of different ways. Mental health wise, it’s going to be walking a fine line. But in terms of my writing, I already feel motivated to finish an old draft, despite having been burnt out by this piece a month ago.
I have a lot to rework in the piece that will probably end up being my thesis. It sucks that the story of my heart won’t be the thing I want to present to the world first, but it needs more time. I need to find the best story in this world that means so much to me and right now, I might not have it.
I submitted my final packet of the semester last night and all I need to do is hear back from my mentor and I’ll be good to go.
It’s been a rough semester. Right around the start of October, I went into a deep, downward spiral and my depression just wouldn’t let up. It was a very rough few months. Then I caught some sort of sick about a month ago that hasn’t let up either so things were just not looking great.
But I made it through somehow and here I am on the other side, sniffling and still a little congested, but I’m here.
I’ve sort of come to kind of hate the project I was working on this semester. I know how I tend to write and forcing myself to work on a project I didn’t care for or I knew needed some time on the shelf just sort of made me hate everything I wrote.
My next semester is going to be my editing semester, where I get to work with an editor in the publishing industry who isn’t one of the professors, so I’m a little nervous. I hope that the list of editors is sent out soon and that there’s a dedicated portion for the Writing for Children and Young Adults students.
But, for now, and until residency starts, I’m going to go play some video games, plan my next D&D session, and let myself relax for a little bit. Maybe I’ll get around to my TBR pile…
The semester is coming to a close a little too quickly for my liking; I’ve got less than two weeks to go before I’m done with my first year at SNC!
It’s a little strange to think about how I’m halfway through my MFA program when initially I hadn’t even planned to attend one at all. But I’m always up for ways to further my craft and I’ve met some absolutely amazing people at SNC, and both of my mentors have been pivotal in my progress in my work. Without them, my work would suffer, and I’m eternally grateful to both Pablo and Lisa.
And of course, I’m grateful to Jessi, who’s my sounding board, motivational speaker and best friend. I definitely wouldn’t be where I am today without her.
There are a few changes coming up in the future, and I’m not quite in a place where I can talk about it just yet, but the news will be coming out soon. I’m a little sad to see some things go, but I am excited for the things to come.
Well, I guess it’s back to writing and planning!
It’s October! I keep promising to keep up with this blog more, but I always end up crushed under a pile of other responsibilities that this ends up being the first casualty. So. I’m back! Maybe!
So I was recently accepted in Sierra Nevada College’s Master of Fine Arts in Writing for Children & Young Adults.
It’s a mouthful, I know.
I was so nervous submitting my applications to any grad programs. I’ve always felt like I was a terrible student–at least academically speaking. But I got accepted to both programs I applied for! (But ultimately went with SNC due to the fact that it’s low residency and I can just work from home.)
So these past few months I’ve been reading & writing & surviving. Somehow. I’ve got plenty of books to read each month and plenty to write and revise too. It’s a lot, but I get individual attention to my work so that’s been incredibly helpful. Though I do prefer to just draft straight out before going back to revise.
It’s pretty fun stuff, getting to work with so many talented people (and incredibly smart people too!) and getting to see how I can grow with my craft. I know a lot of people don’t like MFA programs for a lot of reasons. Money being one of them. Trust me. I’ve pretty much doubled my student loans in just one year’s worth of grad tuition than I had with four and a half years of undergrad tuition.
But it’s been a great experience so far, and I can’t wait to see where it’ll take me next.