It’s been better, it’s been worse

Day 2 is a little early for hitting a wall in a writing residency. I should still be flying on the joy of being here and having time to do nothing but write. I could blame the quantity of wine the residents collectively consumed last night. But that’s not quite it.

At previous residencies, my goal was to just write. One year I had a word count goal, and another year I just read and wrote poems. This year, my goal is to add Historical Character back into my memoir. I am at late stages of the whole damn process, so I’m aiming for quality over quantity.

I spun my wheels metaphorically speaking between noon and two. Finally, disgusted, I went out for a walk. I took the long way to end up at one of my favorite perches. Firmly perched, I had no desire to go back to the room, to the computer, to the page. Nope. I was ready to stay on that perch until I froze to death and starved (not necessarily in that order).

My main resistance to my current project is that I need to understand circumstances around Historical Character so I write about her with the same clarity and confidence with which I write about myself on a good day. Not only do I have to understand the first thing about her work and her time period, I have to get it on the page. It has to be clear, interesting, and lyrical, because that’s how I roll.

There is an immense amount of detail I have to uncover and recreate faithfully. I am building a world from scratch and I want it to resemble the actual world I am writing about. No wonder I wanted to stab my eyes out after writing only 500 words. Biography is brutal.

What did you learn today?



14 responses to “It’s been better, it’s been worse

  1. I learned that the Tuesday after prom is apparently the day on which all the high schoolers have their fits, sprees, breakdowns, ramp-ups, and freak outs. I also learned that a hysterically wailing teenager can be dealt with exactly like a hysterically wailing toddler: calm proximity, no direct engagement, conversations after. My goodness. Hopefully the Thursday after prom is the day they finally get all their shit together?

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