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.
If the morning starts with freaking out your roommate cause of your meditation, can it really get any better than that?
No, not really.
It’s been a rough one. I hit my wall early today and things have not been going great. There’s so much to do that I run out of spoons by lunch time and I feel terrible for not being able to attend some readings. But I’ve burnt myself out before and I can’t really afford to do that again, not with this being my final semester.
I really do love the community though. The WCYA tribe are some of the coolest, awesome-est people I’ve ever had the pleasure of knowing. They’re all so skilled and awesome in their own ways and I love them. They make the residency worth it.
I can’t wait to see how their careers as writers turns out. I know every single one of them is going to be amazing at whatever they try to do. All of them.
While the east coast is being slammed with a crazy snow storm, I’m over here in Lake Tahoe, where it’s sunny and 40 degrees. It’s not necessarily warm, but at least we’re not under two feet of snow, so I call that a lucky break.
I’m still ridiculously exhausted. Last night, I passed out at like 7:30. Out like a light and down for the count until like 4 or 5 the next morning. But I’m still hitting a wall in the mid to late afternoon and all I need is a nap.
My brain is a little fuzzy today, and I haven’t been able to focus on much, especially not writing. My lit crit class might break that a little, since it’s such an intense class, but I’d like to start meditation this week to free up my brain. I’m an incredibly great adult on the west coast, only cause I can wake up at 6 am no problem here. So in that time frame between showering and leaving for breakfast, I might benefit from a twenty minute meditation in the morning during sunrise.
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.