As I near the end of this two-week writing experiment I recognize that much of what I have written (the new stuff anyway) has been blog posts. In the beginning, I had this blog down as an option if I got stuck or didn’t want to work on some other project on my list. But it’s become much more than that as it seems to be my default position. I also notice that about 50% of that blog space is actually taken up by writing about writing. So meta.
I’ve started most of these sessions in the morning, as intended, and in all but about one of the cases, I’m fresh off of reading the daily newsletter. So it makes sense that I’m thinking about writing and craft. Today’s newsletter contributor talked about exactly this: thoughts about writing take up a lot of space in his process. Questions like, who cares and why the writing matters. He advocated for allowing the questions we are plagued with to be an agent for change. As we mature and grow out of old ways of seeing and being in the world, so too can our writing evolve into something different. Whatever the questions are, we can change the answers.
Case in point.. I’ve been meeting with my friend Mimi on a few random Wednesday evenings for the past few months for some generative writing sessions. Mimi was in the MFA program with me; her focus was fiction and mine was poetry. When applying for the program, a person has to write a statement of purpose and also declare what genre they intend to study. That’s one question that requires a choice, and in a moment, it’s one of the easier ones. A no-brainer because there’s probably a reason someone is seeking that degree.
Perhaps they are working on a fiction novel, have a deep interest in history, or have had some unique life experiences and want to write a memoir, so the choice is clear. Then, in those two years, you do an intense dive into whatever that is, and hopefully, come away from it with a lot of new knowledge and some really great progress on your writing. That was my experience anyhow.
Anyway, now that we are done and the program is behind us, Mimi and I both are finding ourselves drawn more to writing CNF. I mean, my blog is all CNF, but I’ve got a few actual essays in the works I’d really like to turn into something publishable. That’s what she’s primarily working on too and has sort of let some of her fiction stuff go for a while. In a way, we are both changing the answer to a question.
In the past few days, I have not had the motivation to try and write new poems or work on that original list of projects I spelled out at the beginning of this challenge. I feel I have not been in the right headspace and even when I’ve made attempts, I’ve gotten very frustrated and ended up just doing something else instead. A few times, I ended up just writing out my thoughts on the day and calling that good. That’s changing the answer to a question too.
It feels appropriate here to interject something my grandmother always said that has stuck with me over the years: that it’s a woman’s prerogative to change her mind. Her and I did not see eye to eye on a lot of things, but this one, I can agree with wholeheartedly.
I’m also the advice in today’s newsletter, which is to “give yourself grace”. I’m definitely doing that with how things are going so far this week.
That’s all I’ve got today. I’m going to try and use what time I have left to work on a few of those CNF essays.
Peace and Love,