I’ve become quite reflective this holiday break. Going into next semester I do not feel the same steam as I did coming into the program. I feel a slow methodical pace–that angers me. I miss the frantic writing that pushed me to create right away. I believe this is why editing my stories often feels like pulling off a band-aid at a snail’s pace across stiff hair. There is no way to bulldoze through precision. It takes just the right cuts and additions. It reminds me of math. I hate math. Although, as a true lover of words, when sentences flow and ebb, when you can feel the structure sing, I take immense pride in my work. Can you love and resent the process? I believe so. Maybe the truth is that now that I have to focus and slow down to sculpt my thesis I am bombarded with thoughts about…what next? Art is not a short game, the results take time and that can, admittedly, be kind of scary. I ask myself often what about right now? What will you do right now Jamiece? Right now there are endless possibilities. I’m in a position where I have time to think and create blueprints. This blog might feel a bit all over the place, but as you have trusted me before, trust me now.
I am a person who likes a fast pace. I want to be doing something immediately; it’s why I love sharing my stories at readings. What I’ve started to learn is that slowing down is another important lesson to master. When I used to play basketball in high school, my coach would always tell me, “Speed is nothing without control.” Moving forward is now about looking at the time and the resources I have and seeing where I can delegate the work. The rush is temporary, the method tedious, but rewarding.
What’s next is learning my craft each day. What’s next are all the stories that I haven’t written yet. Today I’m applying for writer retreats and creating lesson plans. Today I’m letting myself resent the process a little bit because being a writer is not the magical feathered pen, coffee shop romance we’d all like it to be.