time to push

2 October 2013

It’s October. The month I have to finish my creative portfolio for my grad school applications. Guess who’s stalling and hiding under her blankets? Yeah…

Now’s the time when I’m letting fears and doubts get to me. I knew it would come, and knew it would happen. Just figured I would have thought of a way to talk myself down by now and be well on my way to getting things done. It’s like, when you want to write, when you need to write, the words just escape you.

If my track record holds true, I work great under pressure. So part of me is hoping to actually use all this pent up fear and doubt and let it burst into a crazy ball of creative energy. Hasn’t happened yet. Yet.

I don’t want the next sparkly thing to come up to distract me. Nor my fears. So. What are my plans to defeat this and actually get my applications done on time?

» Keep my writing journal open and in front of me at all times, pen at the ready. If inspiration does come, I’ll be ready for it. Grand ideas and utter crap. I’ll get it all down on paper.

» Try to recreate and reconnect with former methods of inspiration. This means scouring Netflix, listening to a variety of music, and watching every bit of Jim Henson’s creature shop productions.

» Take my work-in-process pieces, one at a time, read them, read the critique notes on them, and keep writing. Explore various possibilities. Twist things. Poke the characters. But most importantly, finish the pieces.

» Get out of the house. Breathe. Relax. Write.

Obviously, the key to all of this is to just keep writing. Definitely easier to say that do some days, but I’ve made it through stressful times before and completed deadlines in the past. It might just take a lot of chocolate and candy — good thing Halloween is coming up.

  • Ren

    I’m considering applying to the creative writing program where I got my BA. I’m thinking about doing the nonfiction track, but at the same time I’m more unsure about applying to grad school the closer I get to deadlines. I can’t figure out if that just means I’m choking or if my gut is trying to tell me not to pursue grad school…

    • Erini

      I wish my undergrad had any sort of post-graduate writing program… School’s a big commitment. One thing you could do is contact people in the program you’re considering. They can help you sort of figure out if your goals line up with what they can offer you. Also, spending a lot of time thinking about your goals can definitely help. For me, after years of going from this job to that, I realized that I continually was brought back to my love of writing and love of education. So instead of ignoring it for a “real” job or “real” pursuit, I’m following it. I don’t know if teaching is where I’ll end up, but I’ve learned that sometimes one path will lead you down another that you would have never expected and you can find a joy you never would have thought to pursue on your own. I mean, I went from being in a school for graphic design to then becoming the director of their digital program — which showed me how much I love working in academics.

      Anyway… best of luck with your search!

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