Teacher, Writer, Experiencer of Life
As I enter into a new school year, I'm working to balance a new job (Associate Principal), the completion of my MFA through the Rainier Writing Workshop (and the loss of the wonderful structure that said program provides), and the need to write. This summer, I attended a great workshop that focused on the concept of "guilt"--the guilt we feel for allowing ourselves the time to write, and the guilt we feel for not doing so. I came away with something of a sense of relief. I now know and appreciate that writing can happen in a variety of ways, even when not a single word is put to paper. When I'm thinking about characters and scenes, I'm writing. As I lie back on the sofa and read an amazing (or not so amazing) book, I'm feeding the writer in my head. When I re-read something I wrote a long time ago and roll my eyes at the clunkiness of it, or scratch out an idea that came to me and tuck it away, I'm being the writer I tell myself I need to be. And sometimes, when the moment hits me, I find that I can still crank out a halfway decent bit of writing. Next month, I will have a short story published in Silver of Stone Magazine. It was an unexpected surprise, a submission done long ago and longsince forgotten. Those are often the best ones.
So for now: To hell with guilt.