Jentel Day 10: Checking In

My writing, reading, and submitting rhythm have been feeling a little off ever since I arrived at Jentel. I understand that a major reason for this is the fact that having my foot in a cast means I can’t spend my usual 2-4 hours exercising outdoors each day. It may sound indulgent, but that time outside and moving is as crucial to my writing process as language itself.
Another factor may be the incredibly interesting and fantastic fellow artists here at Jentel. We spend hours over dinner and wine each night, and while I always return to the studio for at least one (or two) more hours, I’m certainly not pushing myself as hard as I did in Alaska. Or at Weymouth. Or even as much as I did at Interlochen.
I’ve started one story since I arrived here 10 days ago (ok, 9 if you don’t count the travel day). Yesterday I spent the entire morning with that story and only got 200 words. The day beforehand I spent about 6 hours with the story and got 600 words. That’s very, very slow compared to my composition time in Alaska but moderately acceptable compared to my composition time when I was in grad school 2 years ago. Right now, the story is only 8 pages…and still in progress.
And perhaps that’s just it…
Composition time shouldn’t be measured. I had many moments in Alaska when I wished for more kinship. I replaced those lonely moments with physical activity and generating new material. Now I can’t move but I have the kinship. I’m going to soak it up for all it’s worth.
That said, I need to do a recap for myself and see just what I’ve been able to get done in 10 days:
–Written 8 thank you letters
–Submitted fiction to 5 different literary magazines
–Reviewed submissions for TRACHODON and Memoir(and) magazines
–Two solid days worth of work for Cheek Teeth (TRACHODON’s blog)
–Read 426 pages
–Started an 8-page story
Last but not least? I’ve helped consume more than 16 bottles of wine with friends:
Showing 2 comments
  • Rocky

    Production in writing is more about sustaining forward momentum than flat word production. Sometimes you will write fast and sometimes slow, but to continue the forward movement is the thing. Listening to the way the story wants to come forth and not forcing it seems the best thing. And that is a very impressive wine count. If you project that for the rest of the month…

  • Shuff

    I think this sounds like a well deserved short detour away from one kind of productivity to another.

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