Wednesday, June 22, 2011

The Tough Get Going!

A little over a year ago I started a personal journey toward a goal - writing a novel. I decided that this was the year that I finish the final draft of the manuscript.  I'm not a novelist, at least not yet, but I do write for a living.  I brought those skills to a class offered at Southern Methodist University (SMU) continuing education program on creative writing. The course consists of approximately six classes and I've taken three of them.  The hardest course, at least by my standards, is the next course call "Chapters."  As the title indicates, the goal is to keep you writing chapters of your project until you finish the entire manuscript and you share those chapters with the other writers in the class for feedback.  The final two courses are "Revisions" and "Polish" - which means you must have a manuscript to revise and polish.  This is the part of my journey where I must finally write the novel.

As the saying goes - when the going gets tough the tough get going.  To give myself the best chance at success I decided to take the "Chapters" course during the annual writers trip to SMU's campus in Taos, New Mexico.  Instead of the one night a week for seven weeks, like the other courses, I will spend the seven days in Taos completely isolated from my regular world so I can just concentrate on what needs to be done.  There are activities to break up the days and nights of endless writing, but it is mostly about pushing the project forward.  I'm both excited and scared.

At the orientation last night the trip felt more real than when I registered - it was really happening. We will be staying in dorm rooms - which should be an interesting retrospective since it has been a decade and a half since I lived dorm life.  The campus is on the edge of a national forest and we will be issued mountain bikes when we arrive as the easiest way to get to and from class - another thing I gave up when I left the University of Utah many years ago. Mostly what I will get is time - an ever shrinking commodity in my world.  I try and find an hour or two each day to write - and that is a challenge most days.  For the seven days in Taos I will have nothing but time to write - interrupted only by a couple hours of class and a few activities to give us some rest and relaxation from the day's labors.

This should be an interesting and, hopefully, productive experience.  Wish me luck as I prepare for and go on this next step in my writing adventure.

No comments:

Post a Comment