I remember being in those 200-level creative writing classes and just knowing I wanted to be a writer. (To appease my mother, I took one class a semester to earn my teaching license, but I wasn’t convinced I wanted to teach.) Any praise during the workshop session of the class sent me home with my feet barely touching the ground; any negative comment caused me to spiral into a quart of “Bunny Tracks” ice cream.
During my time with Bev’s class, I read a couple of prose poems and a bit of “In Migration.” Then, one at a time, the students came up to the computer to ask me a question. They had all sorts of interesting inquiries from my revision process, to what I like to read, to when I find time to write. I shared with them the Treadmill Journal. I’m a bit of an evangelist—and I’m sure some of my classmates from grad school workshops will agree and roll their eyes—but I love it. Writing down the minutes, adding them up, giving myself a focus really helps me continue. It makes me forget about the rejections (more to come on that soon!) and disappointments and focus on what really matters: the writing.
In the early years of learning a new skill, it’s easy to have passion, excitement and energy. It’s much more difficult to maintain this enthusiasm when other pressures take us off-balance. That’s why it was so fun to talk with all these bright, eager faces that were so young and attractive (I swear her students had to give head shots to get into this class!) Talking with them renewed my energy. Bev assured me they were equally inspired.
What keeps you energized about your work?