Well, friends, this marks my last post as MFA
Confidential. I just wanted to thank you
all for reading and for your supportive comments along the way. I also wanted
to thank Writer’s Digest for this great opportunity. Blogging proved to be a
great complement to my classes—I was able to gain insight and assess what I was
learning as I wrote about it. And now I have documentation of my year, a
journal of sorts, to look back on and remember.
Moving forward. I’m moving forward in many ways. This blog
ends. My MFA in Creative Writing program ends. I am moving to a new town, into
a new home. Changes. I can feel them all bubbling under the surface. I feel, in
a way, like the new kid starting at a new school. I’m anxious yet excited. I’m excited to dive
into new writing, to create new characters, to imagine new places. My life
changes will be the catalyst for a host of new material, yes. I’m imagining my
new black desk in the den of my new home. I’m imagining how the sun peeks
through that window right beside the desk. I’m imagining the inspiring writing
quotes I will hang on the walls.
So thank you, thank you! Thank you for being my readers for
the last ten months. Please do visit me at my new blog, Tapping into the Wild, where I’ll be blogging about writing and
I leave you now with 5 writing goals, or promises, or
wishes… whatever they may be. I want to hold on to these as I move into the
next stage of life, as I step into this great, wild new territory.
Happy Writing, All.
I promise to…
with abandon. I want
to remember the play in writing and let me true self pour out onto the page
every time. Later, through editing, I can make more sense of things, pull
things in, and find restraint. But as I am creating that first time, I will
play and imagine. I will not let fear rule my writing.
to my writing community. I will call to my writer friends when I
need them and be there for them when they need me. Whether it’s for advice or a
read through, these are the people that know what it’s like, these are the
people that are doing it, and I will
go to them because they keep me sane and remind me of what’s important. And I
will work on building a greater community. There are so many wonderful writers
out there that I can’t wait to connect with.
every day. Oh, oh, I always say this. But isn’t this the biggest
goal, the best thing you can do for yourself as a writer? And I do it, yes,
even if I’m writing milk, eggs, romaine.
But really, I want this, this consistency in my life because consistency, the
writing every day, is what gets you on track and keeps you on track. I’m able
to tap into my unconscious so much more easily when I sit down every day. It’s like
training. Athletes need it and so do writers.
4. Be original. I had
a dream the other night that a publisher called me and said—Sorry, your work is like everything else we’ve ever read. My
greatest fear! I want my work to be singular, to be mine. Sometimes I read a
new author and I’m just stunned by their ability and then I find a touch of
their voice squeezing its way into my writing. No, I won’t let this happen. I
will honor my own original voice and know that it isn’t perfect, but no one else
can write the way I can write. No one else can tell my story.
5. Banish my perfectionism. This
is the biggest hurdle. I remember as a child the poster that hung from the wall
in my gymnastics studio. PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT. What a thing to teach
children! That achieving perfection is actually possible! It’s time to push
forward despite this ache for perfection. It’s time to just move forward. How do I begin? My friend asked me recently.
She wanted to start making a writing practice part of her life. Just take a step, I told her. Write in your journal, take one class,
meet a writer for coffee. But when I write,
she said, I always get to a point where I’m
stuck. The writing just doesn’t seem good. Oh, how I could relate. Keep writing. Write through it, I said.
And that’s my goal: Getting the words on
the page. Not perfection.
nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and open a
~Walter Wellesley “Red” Smith
into the Wild
her at: firstname.lastname@example.org