Tuesday, September 15, 2009

I Need an Alice, and Other Items on my Writer's Wish List

Writerly wish list--

1. I need an Alice, someone like the beloved Brady Bunch maid/house manager/jack of all trades who can manage meds and meals and other family tasks while I do the fun stuff, like spending time with my family and writing. Let's not forget writing.

2. I want--no, strike that. I need a writer's retreat. I'm not asking for anything extravagant. A weekend will do. Since I'm dreaming, the getaway should take place AWAY from home, where I'm no longer on call with the school or one of E's many physicians. Oh, I'll need to be off duty, too. Someone else will need to be on point for cooking and cleaning and giving the round-the-clock meds at the right times. The place needn't be a four-star affair. Truly, all I need is a bed and a desk and chance to live, eat and breathe my characters like I did when pursuing my MFA.

3. I need to reconnect with my characters. Before E's current medical issues emerged, I was so close to my characters that any time I sat down with pen, paper or keyboard they were ready to play. These days, it takes coaxing. And time I don't have.

4. I need to reaffirm my trust in the creative process. My writer's heart knows I should do this. My editor's head looks at my progress to date on M&R and taps its foot and shakes its head. My writer's heart knows that what's happening in our lives is informing me as a writer, and a necessary part of the process. Yet, there's so much I want to say and do and explore with my stories. I know. I know. I can't rush the process. It will unfold in its own time, not mine.

5. Two pages a day. Jane Resh Thomas, mentor, teacher, friend and writer extraordinaire, recommends targeting two pages a day for any writer looking to finish something. When she first recommended the concept to me, I was halfway through my Vermont College MFA, and remember thinking, "Two pages? Piece of cake." I couldn't imagine ever having a time in my life where I couldn't achieve that goal. Now I get it.

Writerly Report--I managed two pages of creative yesterday, and I'm well on my way to meeting my goal for today. Baby steps.


Caitlin B said...

Okay, so maybe we should seriously start planning this retreat again. Sounds like you need some support and a little reinvigoration, Kim. What about descending on Arizona?

Michelle Sussman said...

I laughed, I understood, I concur. What a great post, Kim! I think I'm going to include a link on my Wednesday blog post to this. So honest and inspiring!

Carmela Martino said...

Hooray for baby steps, Kim! Two pages is more than I managed today, and I haven't had the parental demands you've had lately. Yet, I'm at the point where I'm grateful for ANY progress!

Kim Winters said...

Hah, thanks, everyone, for your comments and support.

Caitlin--retreat? Did you say retreat?!!!!If I can make it, I will in a heartbeat.

Michelle--thanks for laughing and understanding.

Carmela--I never did ask Jane if we could bank our extra pages if we managed to write more than two. What do you think?

Baby steps, everyone. Baby steps.
And before we know it, we'll build our books.

Michelle Sussman said...

Bank your pages? Is that like cellphone rollover minutes? Great idea!