Day -1. Go to an old friend’s wedding with DP. Beam uncontrollably during the ceremony, and check to see the lilacs are coming out all around you. Then chat, eat, drink. Eat more, drink more, toast the happy couple. Then drive two hours. Thank your lucky stars you married a man who didn’t mind driving you places at night. Stay at a nice old inn a little too close to a bar.
Morning 0. Wake up, eat, kiss your husband goodbye and travel to your residency. Try not to feel guilty at the relief you feel about going to the residency. You still love your spouse; you just also love your writing. Take a variety of modes of transportation to end up at your final destination.
You’ve been here before. Find your room, put down your bags, burst into tears.
Day 1. Unpack, calm down, meet your fellow writers. They are not as horrid as you thought they would be. In fact they seem really nice and down to earth. Eat with them, have a cup of coffee, observe the sun. Then collectively agree that you should probably get back to work.
Lesson 1. Writing is a mind game. Residencies are a mind game. One of the times I was at this particular residency it became a mind game for real. Fortunately I was not one of the principles involved, but I was a little bit gun shy this time.
I have no social obligations other than to be polite when I choose to see people. If and when I choose to see people is entirely up to me. I am here to write. The only mind game I’m playing is to do whatever I can to keep writing.
How do you keep writing?