Growing Pains

***I tried to post this August 10th, but the Internet connection was so slow at the residency, I couldn’t get it up. Still, I wanted to post it. Sorry for the delay. Photos of the scenery are completely unrelated to my writing angst.***

This chair was one of the few places I had cell service.

I had to submit another chapter for my workshop today. The problem is, we have very little time to write during the residency. On Wednesday we work-shopped Chapter 1 and it needed a lot of work. Chapter 2 needs even more work. I know what the problems are, and I want to fix them, but I don’t have time, so I was stressed all morning handing ten good writers a piece that I know has big problems. A total admission of writing inadequacy.

The novel I am work-shopping is not  finished. I promised myself it would be done by the end of June, and I missed that deadline. I pushed it back to July. Missed that deadline, too. I love these classes, but I do feel some frustration that I want to put into action RIGHT NOW what I am learning. I want blocks of time to write. I want to finish that novel so I can go back to Chapter 1 and fix the structural issues that are keeping it from working.

I am trying to relax and realize this is a process of growth. I have 10 days at the residency, but an entire semester afterward to implement my learning. These instructors are here to help me become the best writer I can be. The other writers in my workshop are so very supportive. No one wants to see me fail. I want them all to succeed as well. We are in this together. What really made me cheerful yesterday was realizing that unlike writing conferences, where you meet people for a weekend and then everyone goes their ways, this is a long-term program. We are here for each other for the next few years. This is just the beginning of close friendships with other writers, and I am grateful for that.

I keep telling myself to relax, love these 10 days– the beauty of the place and the good company– and let myself grow.

Easier said than done.



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