The beach in Seaside, Oregon,
where our Pacific University
winter residency was held
Do you ever deal with those, the uncontrollable factors? How have you dealt with them? I ask because I assume you have the answers. And maybe those answers aren't right for me, but surely you've figured out what works for your life.
We're constantly teetering around trying to find some sense of balance, and the balance I'm trying to find right now is between absorbing the wisdom from the brilliant minds around me and trusting that I know what's best for myself. For instance, recently I went to my winter residency for Pacific University's MFA program. I shared about my experiences there last June, and I'll soon share some of my insights from this trip, too.
Surrounded by faculty as accomplished as Marvin Bell, Kwame Dawes and Tayari Jones, I feel quite humbled. At times during the residency, my voice vanished, and I felt that all I could do was learn all I could by listening.
But wait - what becomes of a writer without her voice? At some point, I had to realize that their wisdom was available to guide me, of course, but not to create my words. I have to do that part on my own. And creating my own art means trusting in my ability to do so.
At CUAV's Wellness Wednesdays, we've been talking about intuition, that feeling you get in your gut when you just know something. It's the feeling that makes you the expert in your own life. Some would say that creativity is inherently intuitive. And you could say a lot about the relationship between writing and intuition. If I write this way, I may come up with some work that feels pretty raw. But I took in some important lessons about revision at the winter residency, and it reminded me that I can always go back and take another look, make another draft. Always trusting that my voice can create the right words for my own blank page.