I’m taking my MFA program seriously, I promise. I really do want to be a writer, which seems to mean that I want to read On Writing and Bird by Bird over and over again. Or it means that I want to watch Stuck in Love ten thousand times.
I’m not sure if I actually want to write. Because you see, going into my office hurts. It’s only four feet from my bedroom but heading there feels like I’m trekking across the desert or climbing an iceberg. By the time I arrive I’m too tired to do anything.
A few weeks ago, I got my first comments back from my mentor. He didn’t say I suck but instead insinuated that maybe it might take me awhile to get over myself just enough to write an actual story.
So, for the sake of clarification, in case you missed anything: Not only do I spend most of my time avoiding writing but when I finally get around to it, nothing I churn out has a plot. Isn’t that just peachy!
My mentor, who is perfectly wonderful, has asked me to do an outline. Go over the top, he says. Over the top! I can’t conceive of over the top! I have no idea where over the top is!
Needless to say, I’ve had no peace for two the past weeks. I’ve been avoiding my story, my mentor, the outline, everything. And next week I have no choice. I have to start writing.
So, I’m going to spend this week walking. I’m going to walk around town with my audio recorder and talk to myself. I am going outline. I am going to fail and fail hard. And my mentor will judge me. I already know he’s gonna judge me and possibly laugh. But if I am going to be a writer, that is what writers do. Writers write words. They don’t just watch The Shining.