Full disclosure…I have applied for teaching jobs, fellowships, writer-in-residence, and residency positions at the following locations:
Emory University, NCAC Writing Fellowship, Ohio State University, Fine Arts Work Center, Virginia Center for Creative Arts, Gettysburg College, Arkansas State University, Illinois College, University of Wisconsin-Madision, and the Wrangell Mountains Writing Center (Alaska).
On my list for February are: Hedgebrook, The Richard Hugo House, Antarctic Artists and Writers Program, Vermont Studio Center, and Jentel Arts. However, the reality is that I may not be able to apply to any of these places because a) many have application fees and I’m at my limit, and b) it’s getting harder and harder to request specific residency dates on applications when so much else is up in the air.
It’s terrifying when I sit back and look at the force of my own determination. What on Earth am I doing? I often ask myself. Why give up a perfectly beautiful home, a community of friends, family nearby, and a seasonal job that allows time off for writing?
The answer has already been partly address in previous posts: I go through bouts of sadness about my removal from society at large, a lack of access to common conveniences of the modern age, and frequent stimulating conversation with men and women in my age group.
Another answer is this: I am an only child. Someday I will return to these mountains to care for my parents. I anticipate that will be a beautiful and challenging time. Meantime, there are places yet to see and I’d like to earn an income that allows me to see them. If I can’t earn the income, I want residencies in said places.
Sometimes, an old mantra haunts me: Be careful what you wish for, you might just get it. I believe in the power of belief. That is, I am certain that where there is a will there is a way, and much of my own life has been defined by my own very driven will. It’s scary to wish so big, because if I might just wish myself out of a job and home, and into a big uncertainty. But I suppose that’s what living is all about…so here goes!