Mid-semester update

Spring break is over, so it felt like a good time to take stock of the semester thus far.

I think partially because this semester some of the newness has worn off, it’s been a time of real discomfort and questioning about writing. When I sit down to write, sometimes I feel like I’m fueled more by the desire to meet a deadline and the desire to avoid criticism in workshop (as opposed to critique) than I am by a genuine desire to write. So I’ve been doing a lot of soul searching the past few weeks: Why am I here? Do I really want to be a writer, or is that just an old default setting? Do I have something to say? Do I actually like writing at all?

I finally realized that over the years I’ve become so obsessed with doing it right, doing it better, that I’d lost all connection to the joy of writing. There are things I can only learn by writing stories the workshop is capable of critiquing, but that can’t be the sum total of what I write, or I’m going to hate writing. So I resolved that for one hour a day, every day, I’m going to write whatever the hell I want. If it’s something the workshop can handle, great. If not, I’ll do the workshop stories elsewhen and use that hour for something that really excites me. And you know what? The first story I wrote for the joy of it? Pretty much everyone in the workshop loved it and wanted only minor changes. Following my heart seems to be the right course.

Also, I love TAing. Todd is a great prof to work for, very encouraging, and he pushes me to do more than I think I’m capable of. I’ve taught a couple of sessions so far, and I love the material, the students and the stagecraft of teaching. All in all, this is shaping up to be a great first year.

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