Another week has gone by. It is beginning to sink in that the semester is over as I am realizing that I suddenly have a lot more free time than I would have anticipated, even with taking on extra shifts at work. Perhaps I’m missing something important… Now that the pressure of pushing myself through the end of my final semester is over AND I’m mostly recovered from that push, I’m starting to think about what I might write now. I have decided that the world of Zinthe needs a break–or perhaps that I need a break from it–so I have begun considering what I might write now. I have my superhero series that has been percolating for a few years and sitting on the back burner during most of my time at Goddard. I have Drowning Sarah, which was very nearly my thesis and which I think still has potential–if I can only figure out what the actual story is. And then I have a few jagged pieces of ideas that I have begun to play with in my head. I am considering starting a new novel. I have also begun thinking about doing a collection of short stories. I’ve really only written one short story, unless you count The Girl with the Corn Silk Hair, which I don’t, because it was really just notes on backstory to myself. I’ve been told short stories are a good way to break into the publishing world because they’re quick and you can publish a lot of them and you have many options for where to publish them, so if you can get them written and get them published, then you start getting your name out there, which is a boost to your writing career in general.
Now that I don’t have the deadlines and the pressure of school to keep me writing, I have to find a way to keep myself motivated on my own. I have graduation coming up which will give me a few days of residency, the last one I will have a Goddard which is a bitter-sweet thought. Residency always has a way of getting me excited to write again and bringing up great new ideas, so I want to be prepared to take advantage of that. I’m also considering going to the AWP conference in February, which I hope will keep me excited and motivated to write. So, my goal over the coming weeks as I prepare for graduation, is to gather my writing ideas and get a few that interest me and if not get started on writing, then at least have my notes on them and my ideas ready to go so that I will be ready when the muse strikes.
I can do the school thing. I’m very good at the school thing. But I don’t know how to do the writer thing, not as a realistic career option. I’m striking out into new territory. Goddard has done amazing things for my writing and given me the tools and a new perspective to go out and really write, but I’m not sure how to keep myself working on it without the regular deadlines of packets or the invaluable feedback from advisors. I don’t know what to write to get myself published and it isn’t really a career if I don’t get myself published.
So now, the real challenge begins.