I was pretty skeptical of the whole residency concept. I came here intending to do nothing but engage in hijinx, and I was certain that most people would be the same (i.e. I thought it’d be like a writing workshop, but without the annoying workshop part). But nope, people come here to work!
And really it’s difficult to not work. You have to come together for meals, but the rest of the time you’re just on your own, with nothing to do, in a place where everything is taken care of for you (except laundry, which I still haven’t done).
What’s odd here is that they give you both a studio and a bedroom, and they’re about half a mile apart, and the studio is much nicer, more spacious, better lit, better furnished, and and has its own bed and AC / heating unit. To me, the climate control made sleeping in the studio into a no-brainer, but I think most people for some reason sleep in their bedrooms. Maybe because there is a sink in the room? I dunno, I’ve just been popping back into my bedroom every morning to shower.
I guess the division makes more sense in the case of the visual artists, who have much starker and more industrial studios (and who also often work with chemicals that you wouldn’t necessarily want to be around 24/7). But for writers?
I’ve never understood the whole ‘having a writing studio’ thing. I’d much rather work at home. That’s always been my thing. Maybe when I have kids someday I’ll get the need for that separation.
Anyway, I’ve been fantastically productive. I’ve been here maybe ten days? I came here with about fifteen thousand words of a novel. Spent the first few days rewriting what I had. Now I am up to twenty-eight thousand words. This is slow for me, particularly since I’m putting in eight hour days, but I’m trying to be a little more deliberative with this one. I still don’t know whether it’s any good, but it’s at least becoming somewhat finished. I think it’ll clock in at around seventy thousand words, and I imagine I’ll be well past the halfway point by the time I leave here.
This novel occupies a weird place in my mind. Whenever I step away from it, I start to think it’s terrible, but then I go back and actually reread and I’m like, wait…it’s actually good.
I don’t get it! Maybe this is residual depression?