Friday, September 15, 2006

The Writing Life - Nita Style

Lest you think my writing life is any easier than yours, here's a glimpse of what actually happened this week as I attempted to quickly get back to writing after receiving input on the first thirty pages of my memoir, Memorial: Our Last Year on the Links.

Tuesday afternoon comments from my Goddard MFA Advisor, Aimee Liu arrived in the mail. Tuesday night I lay on the sofa calling friends to moan about what an awful writer I am. I spent Wednesday reading over her eight-page letter and highlighting it extensively. Yesterday I typed up questions gleaned from the heavily highlighted letter. So now, instead of an eight page letter, I have five plus pages of single-spaced questions.

Last night I emailed her for advice. Things like, "Should I drop out of MFA school?" and "Should I collect the 37 drafts of this 300 plus page document, shred it, and use it to wallpaper our 2.5 bathrooms?" Immediately thereafter I began pacing the house, checking my email every five minutes. At two this morning (eleven PM her time), I received her response which essentially said, "Stop worrying. Let's talk later."

This morning I'm heading somewhere that doesn't have wi-fi. I intend to copy my manuscript to yet another new document, read the comments she wrote on the actual pages, and begin making changes. I keep telling myself that this is my process and that it will all be okay in the end, but right now it feels like having several root canals without novacaine. I'll keep you posted.

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