As most of you know, I truly began focus on this blog as a writer’s outlet and professional space about a year ago, when I began my journey as an MFA student. Now that I am a year later, back in the same suites hotel with the same odd problem of not having a desk, back at my school, back with so many of my fellow writer friends… it’s interesting to look back and see how much I’ve done with my life as a writer and a reader since I started.
As I said in my holiday post, my life in general has changed a lot in the past year, and for all of it, I am incredibly grateful. Much of it has been hard. Some of it has been painful – and to some extent, still is. Some of it has been gratifying. A few wondrous moments have been renewing beyond description. I am a stronger person and a stronger writer than I was when I began here.
And as I prepare to embark on my third residency, I’m looking forward to seeing what this new me – with new outlooks and new opinions – has to say about the workshops, and the authors, and my fellow writers. I’m looking forward to the challenge of making my book fit the requirements of the program. I’m looking forward to sharing my novel with authors who haven’t read it yet. I enjoy the possibility of having to do yet another revision of this poor book. I love all of those thoughts. That was not always the case.
I don’t particularly enjoy revision in general. It’s the reason I don’t outline. Once the words are on a page, and I can say “here, this is the plot of my book,” then the book is written. Don’t you see it; it’s right there in front of you! Why should I spend months taking all of that and just writing it with more words? You know the story.
I’ve gotten better. Perhaps it’s because my revisions have become more drastic, at least in terms of the novel I’m actively working on. Maybe it’s because I’m taking work that I started years ago and finally bringing the characters to life in a way that I believe they deserve. Maybe it’s a lot of things.
Maybe I’m not going to question the gift, and take it as irreducible.
The past year, if nothing else, has taught me that this is the industry I belong in. Writing, reading, reviewing, narrating – this is what I should be doing. My work as a regional coordinator for the National Novel Writing Month – work as an audiobook narrator – work as a copy editor for two fine authors – my own writing – my own residencies and practicums…Personal goals like drawing another writer to my university – inspiring my partner to finally finish one of his stories (and continue working on more) – buckling down on a revision of a book that’s been in want of it for coming up on a decade now and finding out that I still have passion for the story… All of this adds up to one thing.
I’ve found a goal. I’ve found a home, and as a surprise to none – it’s within the pages of a book.
And I’m increasingly excited to share all of this with you.
I’ll probably be pretty quiet during the two weeks of my residency (watch, I’ll end up posting constantly), but after that, I’m committed to redoubling my efforts to connect with the greater world, and start sharing more of my work and thoughts with all of you.
Welcome to the new age, as the song says.