While most of the students I know are gearing up for their first day of classes, I just got out. Last week, my class--a group that includes journalists, screenwriters and at least one author--met for our second residency.
Being at residency is kind of like boot camp, but instead of navigating through a muddy obstacle course, you're sitting through hours of craft lectures and stretching your brain to come up with scenes and pitches. Time expands, and something that happened the day before feels weeks away. You crawl into bed at 9:00, and barely have time to think about how exhausted and stiff you feel before you pass out.
The scheduling is a little intense, but after a while you get the swing of it, and I can honestly say the word that best describes my MFA program's second residency is "comfortable." Now, the process feels familiar rather than daunting. Instead of competition attached to new faces, I can truly call my classmates friends, and I'm excited to stretch my brain and my words over the course of this semester--and my life. I've evolved from afraid to eager.
I feel ready for a challenge, so for this semester, I set a few goals:
- Write a narrative about a person rather than a place.
- Write pitches to accompany the pieces of work I submit to my mentor.
- Develop a solid structure in my work, no matter the scale.
- Most importantly, write something because I want to instead of should do.
And with those personal goals and a nifty new hand signal courtesy of the coolest three-year-old around, I leave you. I've got a lot of work to do.