There are only two weeks left of school, and for my thesis (which is done and approved — yay!) I had to push myself to write 90 pages in just two months. I’m used to deadlines when it comes to journalism, but not so much in my creative endeavors, and so this was a really intense time.
Having accomplished that thesis mission, I’ve sort of taken a moment to just sit back and breathe a sigh of relief. But I’m quickly realizing that I can’t let myself get too comfortable. Everyone, it seems, is all about reminding me about that. My husband said the other day that I can’t just rest on my laurels. And my mom, who never checks in on my writing, told me this morning that I have to prioritize my creative work. The other stuff, she knows, will just get done. It has to. It always has. It’s just work.
The writing, though, that’s something I really have to push for. That’s exercising a muscle that’s yet underdeveloped, that needs that daily workout, that daily routine, to really strengthen it and develop it.
It’s been weird, too, having wrapped up the thesis last week, because my classmates are still in the thick of it, scrambling away, and that means no thesis or critique group meetings the last few weeks, which means no deadlines. And I’ve always known that I need the deadlines, but this just confirms it.
So, selfishly, I asked my fellow writers at FreelanceSuccess.com if they might be up for a Summer Fiction Challenge to really push us to work on that novel, screenplay, memoir or play this summer. I’m happy to say that we’ve got a strong bunch who’ve committed to it, and we’ll be checking in frequently, starting discussions and reporting back with cold hard numbers — words, pages, chapters, as we progress. This, combined with the return of the critique group post-graduation, will mean lots of regular, steady, looming deadlines for me on the fiction front. It’s just what I need. Bring it on!