Writing

My Current Writing Process

I wish I had the luxury to have a dedicated slot in my schedule to do nothing but write. Maybe in the future when I’ve graduated and I’m living off my writing. Pipe dream, perhaps, but that’s why I went into this program! I had hoped I wouldn’t repeat my undergrad college experience: full-time day job while being a commuter student. I couldn’t avoid it, though. Where I currently reside is right in the middle of school and work, and I spend more time commuting to work, and it just makes sense for now. So, just like in my undergrad, I write during downtimes at work or in the library waiting for class to start. It’s not easy or ideal to write when I’m on the clock, but I share the workload equally with a colleague. I’m sure there are some legalities about that. I’ve heard of workplaces suing authors…

Things I Didn’t Know I Loved

School’s back in session. I did feel apprehensive on my choices even though I discussed it with my advisor (who is retiring this semester, boo) and read the syllabi. But how often do syllabi only tell one side of the story? All in all, I think this will be a cool semester. The workshop is definitely going to be interesting. We have to generate 100 pages over the course of the semester through prompts provided and side projects we’ll be doing. My biggest fear is public performance so of course, we have to memorize a section of 200 words from a fictional piece that inspired us. As previously discussed on Twitter, I’d love to do something from Shakespeare. Like Portia’s speech from the Merchant of Venice. Or, like my friend A reminded me, Katharina’s speech at the end of The Taming of the Shrew. I need to discuss it with…

The Curse of the First Draft

The first draft used to be a horrible, mentally draining aspect of the writing process for me, before I decided I wanted to be a professional writer. I was so caught up in trying to be perfect from the moment I put words on the page that I never let myself relax enough to enjoy letting everything happen organically. I think that’s a holdover from my childhood. I had this overwhelming need to project this perfect image of whom I should be. That wasn’t taught to me, it just sort of appeared over time. As I got older, I realized I don’t give a fuck what other people think of me because this is my journey. No one is the star of the Guilliean show; I am. When I finally accepted this (and it really wasn’t that long ago), I realized that I don’t need to be so damn hard…

The Art of Revision

Writing to me has been cathartic, throughout my entire life. There has never been a time when I wasn’t writing. I would write a poem, short story, or similar, and then hide it away from the world because I was afraid of people seeing who I really am. Or I would let my friends see my writing, but of course, their biased opinions never helped me grow. As I got older, I realized that writing is more than therapy for me, I enjoyed it for the artistic process, and I loved entertaining people in my own way. As such, a revision was never part of my process before. It never occurred to me that what I wrote should be polished, fine-tuned like a piano, to be something better than what I puked on the page. One of my fears when I first started this program last year was that I…

State of My Union

I was going through my files from my workshop last semester and saw that some of my homework was pretty legit, as of spring 2016. I’ll be publishing them over the next week or so. This past summer’s Thesis I was incredibly fruitful for me. The pieces I previously submitted for the workshop have been removed. The pieces I produced this summer will be the majority of the content in my short story collection that I plan to turn in for my senior thesis. I truly believe they are ready for primetime, with some medium to heavy editing for certain pieces. I crave feedback for what I produce. I really want to know what people think of what I’ve got in my wheelhouse, which is what I call cinematic absurdism. My stories can only happen in the movies, which makes them feel like you’re in one as you read them.…

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