Tomorrow I embark on quite a journey. First I will be spending time with my family at our cabin up north until the 4th (the first time I’ve gotten to go up there in 2 years) and after that I will be going on a road trip to Massachusetts with three friends from school. The reason? We all got the amazing opportunity to participate in a week-long creative writing program at Martha’s Vineyard to strengthen our skills as writers. It’s sure to be life changing and there are so many emotions running through me thinking about it.
Of course I’m excited because I will be working with published writers and English faculty from around the country in a beautiful setting. The fact that I’m getting to stay for free in a place where the wealthy are known to vacation makes me incredibly lucky, as well. But another part of me is so, so nervous and feels so unprepared. Unlike the other people I will be going with and certainly the others who will be part of the program, I do not spend a lot of time writing creatively—at least not like I used to. I’m so anxious that I will look like a fool next to them.
Being a writer often means you have a love/hate relationship with writing. Sometimes I am so productive that I’ll churn out six poems in a week and finish a short story as well. Other time—many times, really—I’ll go months without writing anything because I feel uninspired or have terrible writer’s block. Most of the pieces I will probably be discussing at Martha’s Vineyard will be a little old and that’s a shameful feeling.
If anything the emotional roller coaster I’ve been on the past few months should inspire me to write constantly. That hasn’t quite been the case, though. Depression can suck the life out of a person. Instead of writing about it I feel so horrible that I can’t even think of putting the intellectual effort into a poem or story. I’m hoping that will change in a different scenery.
I don’t want depression, anxiety, or self-consciousness get in the way of success, as much as I want to give in. It’s easy to let desperation wash over your head like a wave and drown. It takes a gutsy effort to keep your head above the water and swim through the storm. That may be a lame metaphor, but that’s exactly what it feels like to battle the war within. You gasp for air and you keep moving along, no matter how painful it is. If I can just boil down this feeling into a few verses or spread it out in a story, I should be okay. I’m getting there, little by little.
When I return I will of course regale some great stories about my trip and share some pictures! 🙂