Sunday, January 11, 2015

Writers Residency: A New Twist

Beyond the blog, beyond the burning desire to hammer out clever bits of fiction, I still have to earn a dependable paycheck. Oh would that I could thrive on the income of just writing to my hearts content, but it is still too soon to drop my trowel and send my overalls to the waste bin. Such is life.

Working for a living has it's ups and downs just like everything else in America. Rare indeed is the time I get to to write about what's on my mind, or to create fantastic worlds of fiction from the dregs of ink at the bottom of the well. There are however some writers that go about plying their craft without the haranguing of creditors, landlords or other monetary distractions. Alas and alack! This is not me... just yet.

For some, the assets of ample time and low costs of living make the prospect of a writer's residency very attractive. The writers residency tact has been practiced for ages and many of our most prolific authors have, upon a time or two, availed themselves of distant habitats and surroundings in order to focus clearly on the novelizing at hand. But it's not just for The Fictionaires, no sir. Travelgoobs, Biographic-ers and especially Poetstetics, all may travel hither and yon to be, or not to be where their inspirations are the most deeply tapped or from where creativity is squelched.

Much has already been written on the matter and can be accessed in seconds without clever search terms, so I won't bore you with details that the Internet knows more about than I do. This is a hopefully-short tale of how I came about engaging in an occupation that did both earn myself a living wage while removing myself from everything that had kept me from writing. Of course, home-sickness, fear and loneliness crept in from time to time, but we are only human, so... on with it.

Local employment prospects were grim in my chosen carrier field and I was soon obliged to seek employment at whatever my skilled hands could do. So, I explored options far afield and there, found opportunity. This "occupational opportunity" involved the routine servicing of Hospitality infrastructure and dedicated in-room appliances. Per Diem was paid along with the working wage and a "room at the Inn" was provided to me at no cost for as long as the maintenance term lasted.

When complete, my team and I moved on to the next facility and began our routine once more. The locations of these major hotel chains precluded any thought of a weekend visit to my home as the distances were, most times, far too great. The job at hand turned out to be quite physical in nature but the toils of the day were never too long. I had many quiet evenings with which to conjure witty words, pablum-atic ad copy or the bony skeletons of original fictions. Journaling, as it turned out, took up a lot of my free time; but writing is writing and some important stuff got done.

To have order in my life, to be uninterrupted and have peace. Three things I was desperate for, but only got two. Not counting a new understanding of what it would take for me to cross over into full time freelancing. I found that: "Well managed time and an organized space are absolutely crucial to productive writing commitments". I had realized that the issue wasn't; "what was keeping me from writing". Everything I needed was already there, just not as organized, not as committed and most certainly un-appreciated. Plus, I had no inner peace. (that's kind-of a biggie right there.)

But that's just me.

I accepted the hard truth that it was up to me and only me, to set my priorities to rights and get done what needs to be done and not to cheat my self out of the time I need to write. For some, the place to write is where they feel the most secure wherever that may be; for others, prolific writing comes from extracting themselves from their own realities and go somewhere else to study the subject, enjoin the culture or to embrace the genre in which they write.

To thee I wouldst say: "Sally forth and follow thy quill!"

Mine lead me home again.

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