crane

Revisiting Past Decisions

About ten years ago I applied to Clarion West, the infamous SF/F writer's bootcamp that has launched hundreds of genre writers' careers and torn others apart so badly that... well... anyway. I got a favorable response, but as part of the response they asked if I really was going to be a professional writer. There's a very limited number of spots at Clarion West; and at that time I was in the midst of, pretty much, the probable acquisition of a startup.

While I could have taken the six weeks off, software jobs were flexible like that back then, I didn't really want to and I had things to do in the computer world, first. Plus, back then, I was scared to death of the kinds of feedback that people were getting.

So I wrote back saying, no, I probably wasn't going to be a professional any time soon, so the spot probably should go to someone else. And it did.

But now... it's tempting again. Especially since all those earlier constraints are gone. Applications are opening up just about now for the 2009 session in August. If I plan for it now, it'll be fun and interesting. So I created an account there. I'm putting together a plan for the tuition. Plus... I'm starting to *get* what I can really get out of constructive criticism from someone that knows what they're talking about. Before I used to be too scared of someone "changing my deathless prose" now, it's just another craft and I could *learn* a lot from other people.

I'll cheerfully blame nosferatu_blue for her description of her disappointing creative writing class for reminding me of exactly what kind of "creative writing class" I really want to get into.

[Edited to add: Wow, the San Diego version's teachers sound like they're much more up my alley, though... and my family lives down there... ]
  • Current Mood: thoughtful thoughtful
  • Current Music: Indigo Girls - Blood And Fire
Tags:
If I could retire from the wonderful world of computers (ha ha ha ha ha) and Katie was a bit older I'd be off to the multi-week writer's workshop like my butt was on fire.
I do love your way with words. XD

And, yeah, I've managed to conform to your two conditions, now. Jet's older, and by August, he might actually be back in school for part of it, which would make things a little easier on John. But he'd *still* be single parent for a month and a half or so. *sighs*

Hm. Unless he stayed at his parents' in Seattle... and I went there for the weekends and stuff... an interesting thought.
Oh that sounds terrific! Does the 6 week bootcamp let you out for weekends to see you kid?
Yeah. But the bootcamp is in Seattle, and I don't think I'd be flying Jet out every weekend... *laughs* But he and John could probably come at the midway point or something.

That's the harder part of it all... it really would be six weeks away from EVERYTHING.
OW! Much loss of prestige!

Please accept this small handful of kitten by way of atonement...
Eee!! *sneezes violently*

Poor kitten. I'm SOOO allergic but it's so CUTE!

*ACHOO!!**

*giggles*
What a interesting and wonderful opportunity. I could never do 6 weeks away from my family at this point in my life, but maybe when the boys are teenagers it would be cool. :P

I doubt writing will ever be a serious endeavor for me, but I think it's wonderful you're thinking of doing this. Good luck!
Yeah... Jet's old enough now... but...

I think that's the one place where I'm a little shaky, about leaving Jet for that long... I'll have to think that over a bit, but might think it over with the application process. I dunno. If I don't make it, I don't.
Oh I think you should go for it. I think you can handle it. Of course it won't be easy but I think you are mature enough and analytical enough to glean the useful stuff from from the crap.

I've read a number of things written on the workshop and while I think it's daunting for a newcomer, it looks like it can be quite valuable in terms of contacts as well as craft. Contacts are everything, ya know. ;)

Yeah... I know. *laughs* Sadly, I now know.

That's the real reason to push that hard, if I really want to publish, I might as well do it the fastest and best way possible. No reason to be half-assed about it.

And, I've never picked the *easiest* way for anything, I think, no use doing it easy when hard buys you so much more.
HOLY CRUD, woman!

DO IT! DO IT! DO IT! DO IT! DO IT!

DO. IT.

Seriously. You write such lovely things. I think it would be wonderful to see you in print! I'd buy the magazines and books and things and run around screaming things like "MY FRIEND IS IN THIS!" and smacking nay-sayers with it.

I suspect the regular & constantly available feedback, combined with the saturation effect of Writing All The Time for 6 weeks, added to the professional guidance on venues would all be perfect to push you over the edge into the professional world.

I do have one worry. If you read Ferrett's account, you'll see that he became very emotionally attached to the other members. You're one of the most emotionally open and honest people I know (despite bad experiences making you more shy as years pass) - I'm a little worried about whether you'd be OK expending that much emotional energy. I could see it buoying you to new heights, but I can also see it leaving you very raw.

*smooch*
Heee... I love the image of you smacking people with them. *dances about*

I think it might. Plus getting all the contacts and figuring all the business stuff out.

Yeah... that's a very, very good worry to voice. I would probably throw a huge barrel of emotional intensity into the whole thing; and yeah, the being social and working with other people thing rather than on my own... it could drain the heck out of me.

It's a good thing to point out. Love you and your brain. *grin*
yeah, the being social and working with other people thing rather than on my own... it could drain the heck out of me.

Yep, that's what I'm thinking, especially with you noting lately that people sometimes wear you out. I don't know if you've found the limitations on what you can handle and for how long.

I wonder if there's a practice or meditation that you regularly use to recharge after too much people-time? Because if there is, you could use that. But if you can only recover with time & space, well... you won't get that.

It's a good thing to point out. Love you and your brain. *grin*

*beams*

Love you back!
Yeah, especially groups of people... but I've gotten better in the last year, but not nearly recovered to the point of doing that workshop right this minute. But there's nearly a year to figure it out. Test it, I think.

I don't have a practice or meditation that I use to recharge. I mostly hide like a hermit with the computer for a while... *laughs* You're entirely right, I wouldn't get the time or space. I used to be better about it, but I have to say that my job really messed things up for a while, at least...

*hugs* It's a good thing for me to really think through and test a bit.
Holy cow, MaryAnn is a *teacher* there? Wow, that totally totally rocks!

And while I think either one would be pretty damn cool, I have to admit, the SD one sounds that much cooler. Go for it!
I have to admit, as much as I'd prefer to spend the time in Seattle, the SD teachers group seems much, much, much, much cooler. Yeesh. Though they haven't published their 2009 teachers, yet, it's still a bemusingly cooler list.
Man, that sounds awesome. *has never heard of that boot camp before* *crawls out from under rock*

Haha, I'm glad my terrible experience is leading to something good. I hope you're able to go and have a great time! (Any revelations or the like that you have there would be awesome to hear about. I love writing tips.)

(I admit that it does sound intimidating... I don't think I'm at a point where I have the steeled resolve to try it and have my stuff ripped to pieces... well, maybe that's my experience with my prof talking. Oh, and I don't have 1 week to rub together, much less 6 of them XD )
Well, if you're in school, they're six weeks in the summer... still... yeah, it's a bit of an investment for most folks.

Thanks for the unknowing push! *grins* I'll be happy to write about it if I do manage it. Here's one graduate's list of take aways... some of them seem very, very appropriate.
That's... Wow. I'd never even imagined there was anything like that. While at this point I would not, in any way, be open to a full time career in writing (and there am not applicable. Besides, I don't have the talent or drive it takes, I don't think) I'm still seriously jealous of you.
And... Holy cow... Neil Gaiman is one of the instructors in the San Diego version O.O Make that uber, uber jealous! >.
Heh... for 2008... Dunno what they have for 2009... Probably won't be announced until the beginning of the year. I'll have to see.

Yeah... it's pretty cool for writers that really want to get serious about short stories in those genres. So it would be pretty cool to do. And, yeah, it would take a certain amount of commitment and WANT on my part. I'll see how it goes.
Do it! Do it!

Sonia might have some useful perspectives on the experience, having been through it herself. I still have some of the magazines her writing appeared in afterwards. They are quite handy for smacking nay-sayers.

Do it! Do it!

Hee hee... yeah, she would have some useful perspectives.

Mmm... nay-sayer smacking. Hee.

I may well. I am thinking a lot about it, though. My main problem might be that it really is a short story workshop for those that are into short stories, and I really want to do a novel length thingy or a few of them. Still... it's very, very tempting.

*hugs* Thank you for the encouragement!! I appreciate that a great deal.