Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Creative Rehab

I'm sitting in Port Townsend, WA in the computer lab of Goddard College's west coast branch where I'm working on my MFA in creative writing. When I checked my email just now (first time in several days), a friend sent a link to a Salon.com article by a
Carey Tennis
about his MFA school experience. Here's the line that jumped out at me:
. . . take care of your writing as you would take care of an animal or a child. Do not send it out into the world to do an adult's job. Just take care of it and, in its own way, it will take care of you.
Over the break between semesters, my inner critic escaped it's gilded cage and nearly ate me for dinner. This was due in part to the death of my dear niece, but also just because I'd let my guard down. By the time I arrived here on Sunday afternoon, I'd mentally eviscerated myself.

I've spent the past few days just pulling myself back together. Every morning and evening I give myself the gift of writing practice ala Natalie Goldberg, timed writing on topics that pop into my mind. I take long walks on the beach down to the lighthouse. I have lunch with a friend when I can. I stare out the window of my second-story room that looks over the water. I walk as slowly as the schedule will allow. And I breathe.

So far so good. I feel better. Surrounded by other writers and a good friend, listening to readings and lectures and water and mountains, I feel renewed. I am grieving and healing from various wounds. Regardless, I will continue.

1 comment:

Cavu said...

I'm sorry to hear of your loss, but your post sounds like you're taking good care of your creative self (the walks, the writing exercises). I am an MFA student in Minnesota in poetry, and suffered a major loss last year. It was hard, but in the end, writing was very healing.