Okay I LOVE The Simpsons, so this pic was perfect! It's kind of ridiculous how many pics come up when you google "the shining" and "all work and no play". I love the internet (how millennial of me)!
I'm knee deep into the semester and I'm actually feeling Jack on a spiritual level and can see why he ended up going on a rampage. I had to cut my first post short because it was getting long and I know people don't want to read a whole essay about someone they don't even know. My thoughts started splintering and wanted me to write them all down, but I had to tell my brain to chill because not everything needs to be shared.
So... this semester in Thesis I, I've had to write a new story every other week, which is a faster pace than the one a month I'm used to. At this point, I feel like I'm not writing how I want to. During my year- long break from the program (story to come at some point), I wrote this story that I was extremely proud of. I felt that I'd come far as a writer because I was able to weave multiple threads into the story and even had easter eggs that held greater meaning the more you read. I poured a lot of what I was feeling at the time-- fear, frustration, and sadness-- into that piece. It got me the okay to get back in the program. I started feeling like I had my voice and my own formula to writing down.
I wrote the first draft over the course of thanksgiving week and I even got the thumbs up from one of the more blunt professors in our program. I even read it at a couple of readings with a good response. However, since I've been back in the program, I don't get to spend as much time tossing around an idea. Something else always needs to be worked on or I need to critique someone's manuscript for the next class. I'm feeling like a word factory, just relentlessly churning stuff out just because it's due. Plus, there's always that reminder in my head letting me know that my group will tear it apart anyway.
My strategy has been to just write something like an elaborate treatment (screenwriting lingo) that gets me from point A to B; answer mundane questions that will not elevate my story; and repeat. My favorite is actually the end of the semester where we revise our stuff. I get to (normally) pick one story and give it two weeks of my undivided attention. Make it at least halfway decent, using SOME of the criticism I receive.
This might be bad, but I listen to 25% of what my classmates say and give 75% to my professor. A lot of times, a group of people won't agree on a specific sentence or whatever. What gets you through this program is knowing where you wanted the story to go and then using comments that help you go in that direction. It keeps me sane.
My time for revisions is dawning near. I have one more workshop, which is next week, and then I can roll around with my stories and edit to my heart's content.