Getting shit done

Residencies are weird. You have time, time, time, and the pressure to write. It’s awesome. You have people to talk to, time to dig in, and a lot of shit to do.

There have been residencies where my co-residents irritate me a little bit. I ignore them the best I can. Maybe tell a couple snarky stories later. I try to hang out with the ones who do not annoy me. But here full-fledged fights have developed.

This may surprise you, but I’m conflict-averse. I’m all about arguing for fun and being melodramatic in my stories, but real tension? I fucking head for the hills. There has been drinking, and lord knows I love to drink, but it makes some of the people here fighty.

(An aside: You would all recognize me when I drink because I become more like my Indy Clause self.) But, other people, other people it makes mean. And defensive. And I no longer go to communal dinners because I have no patience for a fight. Not a real fight.

I have writing to do. I like hanging out with the other writers here, but that is just a bonus. When they get personality conflicts I get lost. I go back to my room to read, to write, to watch West Wing. I have varying sympathies for everyone involved in the fighting, but they are not my kin. I am not here to support them as human beings.

I am here to write, and that is hard enough as it is.

Conflict: do you stand up or do you back down?


13 responses to “Getting shit done

  1. It’s fodder baby, fodder.
    West Wing and writing all the way.

    I am a fighter.
    I can verbally dismantle just about anyone. I was taught by the best, my mother…a dirtier fighter I have never known. She could knock the legs out from under you with one word. But, no one knew until my father died how utterly afraid and weak she really was. Overly defensive and combative people stand on skinny stilts.
    I back off and back down now. I try very hard but every once in awhile I’ll knee-jerk a nasty response, (it’s in my DNA), but it makes me feel like shit and I apologize.
    Now..humor is my weapon and I do not join the fray unless the defenseless need defending.

    • “the defenseless need defending” I hear you on that. I do stick up for difficult personalities, because lord knows, we can all be difficult. But there have been arguments over meals. Meals! And I’m hesitant to go into the kitchen to eat because I so profoundly don’t want to be involved. The goal is to write, and everyone else, and their drama, can fuck right off.

  2. stand up! back down! stand up! damn it – you know: a bit of everything.

    I am almost up to 5000 words. may have to go for a bike ride before I get there.

  3. Fighting. About whether to eat together. While eating together.

    I believe for this one, I’d stay in my room and order pizza. Or order half the room pizza to eat in their rooms. Or possibly make popcorn and watch the dinner show, while filming it all for posterity.

    Generally, I try to diffuse conflicts or I leave. But there are a few times where I’ve dug in my heels and put up my metaphorical dukes.

    For a recent example, my children will not leave the house without wearing underwear.

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