I did it. I dedicated three weeks to creative writing.
Of course I still did paid work. I also did housework, parenting, mowing, and managed a few unexpected things that were fairly stressful in their own right. But I did it all. And I produced over 18,000 words of new material.
I started with Jami Attenberg’s #1000wordsofsummer, writing 1,000 words a day for 14 days. I initially thought I would write creative nonfiction essays about my childhood. I had a list a page long of memories and topics. I wrote one. On the second day I hit a stride with a topic that I subdivided into three days’ worth of material. On the fifth day, I remembered that I needed to write flash pieces for a chapbook I’m compiling with a friend. There were nine pieces, so I spent the next nine days writing those. The last day was mostly a free-for-all, but I did it. Over 1,000 words every day.
Then I went right into Nancy Stohlman’s Going Short: Beautiful Flash Fiction workshop. She gave us readings and prompts for five days. Participants wrote flash exercises, up to 800 words, for each day. I pushed myself like I haven’t in so long. Knowing people would be reading and commenting on my writing lit a fire that I haven’t felt since grad school.
I didn’t realize how much I missed the workshop environment. Thankfully a few people from that course seem interested in keeping it going, either as accountability partners or an informal workshop. I’m eager to nurture those relationships, because the quality of writing and feedback in that course was amazing. I can’t remember the last time I felt this inspired.
I’m encouraged to take more courses for my writing. I’ve let that side of me go since college and grad school. I started thinking it wasn’t worth pursuing, but what I got out of this class was worth every penny. I’m hoping to take a more intensive workshop this fall, and hopefully continue taking workshops every “semester” or so. I think it’s worth the investment and I really enjoyed doing this.
Now… should I submit the work I created this week?