Writing, Writing, Writing

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I’ve been doing a ton of writing this week, both professionally and creatively. I have a job through the Academic Affairs Office and am in the process of conducting several interviews and drafting articles for the Academic Affairs website. This is a completely different style of writing for me, but I am noticing some similarities. There is research involved, which I do in my creative writing, and there is so much listening, so much attention to detail. And, there is a lot of “um” and “interesting,” which I realized after listening to hours of my own voice recordings. I use the word “interesting” far too frequently when speaking, and “um” is like breathing for me. “Um, that is really interesting.” Note to self: omit both words from, um, my vocabulary.

And the listening. You have to listen, because even though you are recording everything that is said, you have to be listening in order to naturally progress to the next question. I found myself listening, writing, recording, and referring to the questions I had drafted in preparation for the interview. I couldn’t just go down my list of questions. I had to listen to see where the interview could go, where it needed to go. Hopefully, my listening paid off. More soon on where to find out who was being interviewed and how I did with my first article.

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I am at a point in my MFA career where I’m starting to think about my thesis, that big ol’ piece of work looming at the end of all this—that publishable book-length work. And, I’m starting to freak a little. Just a little. Or maybe a whole lot. I haven’t decided if I will allow myself to freak a lot. It might be a little too early for that. I’ve just been thinking about the idea of having a book-length work at the end of this experience and how daunting that seems, considering what I’ve written so far. Not that workshop isn’t generative, but “book” and “length” just seem like words I am not prepared for yet. This a three year program though, so I am sure that by this time next year, I will have a grasp on those words.

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I’ve been working on what I think will turn into a very large project. I am obsessed with bricks and this city and am researching how buildings are made, what destroys them (natural disaster, humans, etc.). I’m splicing all of that together with a little personal narrative, some lyrical language, lists and definitions (I am beginning to realize these two things are just my thing. I love a list and I love a definition). This week I spent a ton of time in front of the computer, and I spent a some time walking around my neighborhood, exposing myself to different structures.  My research for this project is just as much about listening and research as my interview projects are. In workshop, I am listening to what my peers and professors have to say, and in a way, I’m listening to my own writing and trying to see where it is strongest and where it should go next.