My toughest critic was not invited to participate in the Young Writer in Residence program at KSP Writers Centre, and so I left her at home.
I tried to remind myself, daily, that I had been selected to be there. I had been given permission to not do laundry or vacuum or cook nutritious meals, and was really, in fact, expected to be writing for a large portion of the time. It wasn't all that hard to remember. Katharine's Place is a hub of writerly enthusiasm, and through reading the guest book, I could see my place in a long literary chain of names I knew and names I didn't... people like Tracy Farr, Alice Pung, PA O'Reilly and Annabel Smith.
For the first time, I looked at my novel with properly new eyes. The pressure was gone. No, it was not perfect, but it was not awful either, and every new word I put down on the page was a mark of progress and improvement. The work that I did over the ten days I spent in Greenmount was some of the most inspired and productive I have produced in years. I felt my priorities properly realigning, and a powerful feeling of purpose underlined the choices I made.
In ten days, I managed to write 40 000 words, advancing me significantly along my planned path- since coming home, I have not quite kept up the same momentum, but I have written a little every day, finding time before or after work, and thinking about the world of my story when I am away from it. Currently, I am trying to decide whether or not I want to keep the ending to part 4, but I am on track to finish the book by new year, and then the adventure of sending it to agents and publishers awaits....
I'm glad you left your toughest critic at home, but you shouldn't be so hard on your mother (he! he!). Just joking'. I am glad you used the residency so fruitfully. Revising and rewriting our novels improves our novels so incrementally and we barely notice that a sentence of paragraph is better. Then, one day you get to the end, and when you look back at it, and the whole thing is better...ReplyDelete