I arrived at Kenyon College for a week-long writing conference. As I blogged yesterday, my thoughts going in were not very positive. When I arrived, it just got worse.
The writing prompt on our first day was “My worst decision…” It seemed easy to write about but the thought process led me down angsty alleys. It wasn’t so much that I was nervous about exposing my dumb-ass life, more so that it didn’t seem interesting writing to me. I wanted to do process writing for my book, Anori. That was the thing.
I was in a bad place when I listened to the readings by our workshop leaders that night. I thought about leaving the conference. I had nothing in me. It seemed utterly futile. I did write something eventually, but it was bad, a transcription of bland dialogue. I had someone read it who admitted that it was empty. My fears were confirmed. I would leave.
Then she made a suggestion for a framing device, which got me thinking. I thought about it as I watched a series of tornadoes blow that night and wrote in the morning, adding details like The Starfish Room, Fun Lovin’ Criminals and the bent peel coming a mini bottle of champagne bottle. It wasn’t that great, but it was something. And I wasn’t dead. Not yet.