We've been working our way through DIY MFA and suddenly it has occurred to me that this is our the last week of April (and therefore also the last week of DIY MFA 2.O). I have to admit, I panicked a little.
"OMG, what am I going to do in May?" I thought as I hyperventilated and gasped for air. And then I remembered: there is no one finish line in writing. You finish one phase and you start a new one. Once one goal is met, you move on to the next one. There are small victories along the way, of course--and we should definitely celebrate those--but ultimately there is no finish.
This news might be hard for some of us to hear. After all, it can be nice to think of one writing project as this big goal and once we finish it, we're done. It's the same way with traditional MFA programs. Some students focus on the thesis and the program as the end-all-and-be-all, but it doesn't work that way. You need to see beyond that finish line to the millions of projects that come after. It can be overwhelming, to say the least.
Ultimately, I like to look one or two steps ahead. If you look at all the millions of possibilities, it can make you freeze up. I prefer to look at just the next step. Here are a few quotes that have always inspired me:
"My idea of life is the next page. The next paragraph. The next sentence."
"Writing is like driving a car at night. You can only see as far as the headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way."
Homework: Go to a writing space that's comforting to you. Bring a beverage or snack that makes you feel all warm and fuzzy inside. The point is to coddle your inner writer a little today because you'll be doing some hard work.
Before you start your sprint, take 10-15 minutes and think about the next step. This is not a time for stressing, but a time for dreaming. Let yourself imagine the possibilities of what could be next after your current project. Once you've finished brainstorming, bring yourself back to the present, set the dreams aside and do your sprint for today. (Sprint badges are posted in the photos section of our Facebook page.)
Here in NYC it's rainy and disgusting so I thought it would be a nice day to write "in." I'll be curling up with my notebook and a pot of hot vanilla-coconut tea and will be brainstorming what's next after this round of DIY MFA. I promise to fill you in on the details once I've figured it out!
Would anyone like to share what they think their next step is? I know I'd love to hear it!