Monday, August 3, 2009

The Right to Write

This week I’m attending a Writer’s Retreat at GVSU. I’m privileged to be here among the learned elite of the university. The retreat is intended for professors who are completing doctoral dissertations, but unused seats are allotted to us lesser faculty/staff members who are working on other writing projects. I applied for an empty seat and got it. So here I am, sitting in front of my laptop, in a large quiet room full of other people doing the same. We’ll be here from 8 am to 5 pm every day, Monday through Friday.

I have a plan. I know what I need to research to make my stories authentic. I have specific goals for each day so I don’t spend time each morning wondering what to work on. I have my own laptop and a comfortable cushion for my chair. I have my favorite “working tunes” downloaded on itunes, and my headphones. The university is going to feed me lunch each day and keep an endless supply of munchies, water, coffee and tea available each day. So my physical needs are covered.

The only thing I need to supply is my creativity. And that’s the scary part. I’ve been working on this historical novel for five years. The contemporary novel has been brewing for almost a year. What if I never finish them? What if I finish them and they’re awful?

I guess I need to console myself with the idea that the only person I really need to please is me. Even if nobody else likes my writing, I’ll have completed a life goal of finishing a book. And that’s something to be happy about.

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