Thursday, December 31, 2009

2010 Writing Resolutions: Writing After the MFA

Writer friend Jamey Hatley shared this link on Facebook today, where PEN/Faulkner winner Ann Patchett comes to the astounding discovery that if you write you will get more writing done. I know I’m being snarky here, but this, actually, is a valid observation. The point has been made before (Stephen King makes an especially strident case in his book On Writing) but it bears repeating — writers have to treat writing as a job, or it won’t get done.

I’ll try not to quibble in that writing for Ann Patchett IS a job, i.e. she is PAID, but those of us in the fledgling ranks must flap with due diligence. Today I finished Water for Elephants (as part of my quest to read books that non grad students read). Sara Gruen apparently sat in a closet to avoid distractions as she finished. My strategy is to live alone and not have reliable internet access.

Ann Patchett says that last year, for the first 32 days of the new year, she wrote everyday. Her claim is that setting this precedent, aligning this mental juju helped. I’m signing up, along with 30 minutes a day of Pilates or yoga to lose my MFA muffintop.

You in?

3 comments:

V. Wetlaufer said...

I've never been good about writing every day, but I go on writing jags where I write all day for an entire weekend. But I might try this. (I'll keep my muffintop, though. :)

I have been reading non-PhD-approved books over break, too, and my grad school friends give me such shit about it, but I never get a chance to read novels as a poet, so it's a delicious treat for me. Also, our library got one of those machines that makes books (I'm drunk, so I can't remember the name) and I'm thrilled to try it out.

Happy New Year and may you be blessed with good writing karma! Maybe we will meet at AWP.

Josh Kleinberg said...

I'm in.

Kelly Kathleen Ferguson said...

Skipping AWP this year in favor of warmer climes. I'll probably go next year though.

Whoops. And I haven't written for an hour yet today. Logging off.