I just wanted to issue a warning that I won’t be writing much. Wait, let me rephrase that: I won’t be writing here much.
In an emotional moment over the summer, I started researching MFAs in creative writing. It turns out most of the good programs are located in bumblefuck America, and while I can fantasize about living a completely different lifestyle with my boys in Iowa, I know that’s not in the realm of the possible.
But through this exercise, I discovered that Stanford offers online creative writing courses. One in particular caught my eye: Novel Writing Back to Front. Since coming up with the ending is always the hardest part for me whether writing a blog post, email or story, it sounded perfect. I set a calendar reminder to sign up on the date registration opened.
Coincidentally, that day happened to be the one when I lost my car for 2.5 hours at DCA. Once I got home, the insurance assessor was there to investigate my flood claim. By the time I got to my computer, the class was full.
“I will just have to be self-motivated to write,” I told myself.
A month later, I hadn’t committed a single word to paper. Last week, I took some time to meditate and made a promise to myself that I would find a way to be disciplined about writing. When I was done, I had an email from the universe, I mean, Stanford, informing me I was in the class off the wait list.
Class started last week. I was officially in by Wednesday. Due Friday was the first assignment: 750 words from anywhere in your novel except the end because we workshop up to 5000 words of the ending for our final class project.
750 words of a novel I haven’t started writing? And a 5000-word ending by October 25th? Well, Wednesday night, I wrote 750 words. Then Thursday I compulsively revised and refined until at 11:38pm when I was comfortable enough to post my work on the discussion board. Then I waited nervously for responses from the instructor and my fellow classmates.
The feedback was all good. “Rich and believable” dialogue, according to the instructor. “Have you considered screenplay writing?” a student asked. Part of me was disappointed in the lack of criticism. I want to get better. But another part of me was fueled to expand those 750 words into nearly 8000 by the time the weekend was over.
So while I’m not writing here, I am writing somewhere. And I can tell you now with the greatest assurance that nowhere in the last 5000 words of my novel does a main characters sleep with a celebrity.
That story has already been written.