What I’ve learned

I found out last week that I completed all the hours for my Writer-in-Residency early. So I have a week to close up shop, as it were, and prepare myself for another semester of grad school (which I’m actually very excited about, nerd that I am). I’ve also been reading like a fiend in anticipation for my return to school (and not having any more time to do so).

I’m sad to go.

I’ve joked with a friend that this has been, and will always be, the best and worst summer of my life. The best, because I’ve made some awesome connections and know now what my dream job feels like. The worst, because it was so much more … well, everything … than I thought it would be.

Not that that’s a bad thing. Just that … a girl has her expectations (I’m dealing with it).

Here are a few things I’ve learned:

1) Exchange District = best place in the summer to work in Winnipeg.

2) Iced lattes will burn a hole in your pocket eventually.

3) Meeting with writers to offer critiques is a yoyo of ups and downs. But it’s always worth it, especially if that person takes away even half of what you’ve told them.

4) Writing is life work. It is not just sitting at a computer and typing little sweet nothings onto your keyboard for your hardware to store for a rainy day. It is soul-crushing, annihilating, exhausting, and mind-numbing work not for the weary of heart. Only once in a blue moon do you actually feel satisfied with what you’ve written that day, and it may be only a sentence. Or a word.

You will shed more tears and layers of yourself than you ever thought you had in you to shed or tear away.

So why do it, you ask?

Last week I said because I have no choice. I’m not changing my mind now, but there is one more element that I didn’t have time to touch on.

And that is I truly believe that words have the power to change one’s very existence.

It is why I chose to write my little crippled heart out this summer, and it’s why I’m going to continue to do it. I don’t know of any other way.

Nor do I want to.

“There would be punishment and pain, and there would be happiness, too. That was writing.” -Markus Zusak


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