Marginalia, Graduate Blog

Stay active over summer

Parker Stockman

I saw a rainbow the other day when I was in Florida. It had been raining on and off during the afternoon, which is par for the course in the summer in Florida, and I was driving down the interstate to visit some friends. When I saw the rainbow, I took a picture of it for this blog. It wasn’t a full rainbow, just a streak of one, a part of the arc of the rainbow–it looked like it was just a trunk.

That’s what a few years in the Fiction MFA program are–a trunk for your writing. Over the last two years, I learned different ways of approaching ideas and coming up with material for my stories. Recently, I learned different revision tactics and how to approach my own work critically. I’ve been given the base for my writing, a semi-formed rainbow, if you will. Now, this summer, the hard work begins; I have to form as much of the rainbow as possible.

I’ll only have one class this semester, and it will be just eight weeks. I’m a person that needs structure and guidelines, so I am giving them to myself. Sam Weller has set up a summer writing group, and each participant is to write 500 words a day. By the end of Columbia’s summer break, that will be 53,000 words. Basically, that will be the length of The Great Gatsby or Fahrenheit 451. I can do this! If it’s 500 words a day, that is about two pages double-spaced, or 3/5-a whole length of one of these blog posts. I am keeping track of it and posting updates to a Facebook group.

I challenge you to keep writing this summer, MarginAliens. 500 words a day. Double up on some days so you have a buffer for things like vacation or a sick day. Hell, set 500 as the ABSOLUTE minimum!

If this doesn’t work for you, buy a book of writing prompts. Use an online writing prompt guide. Do anything to keep writing! Blog, create recipes and write about it, just journal–JUST WRITE.

Okay, that’s all I’ve got for you. It’s up to you to take the base you have and form the rainbow. Good luck!

(Oh, the final word count, including this sentence, is 381 words–you can do it!)

Stay active over summer

I saw a rainbow the other day when I was in Florida. It had been raining on and off during the afternoon, which is par for the course in the …

Creative Writing - Fiction MFA Parker Stockman, parker.stockman@loop.colum.edu
600 S. Michigan Ave. Chicago, IL 60605

The Graduate Experience