I arrived in Fergus Falls yesterday morning to begin a 2-week residency through the Hinge Arts residency program sponsored by Springboard for the Arts. As I wind down the Greyhairs Rising year-long blog series, I find myself in new territory that I cannot write about from a rear-view mirror perspective.
In the 2-1/2 years that I have been retired and chasing down a new career as artist and author, I’ve taken in a lot of learning. I’ve taken advantage of a lot of opportunities to show art and to submit writing to competitions and to agents and publishers. I have to say, I’m thoroughly tired. It’s time to take yet another look at the moving parts of this career in development.
I jumped into this with the energy and glee of a woman freed from a life sentence of hard labor. And what did I do with that freedom? I sentenced myself to two years of more hard labor. What began as a life-affirming enterprise, took on a life of its own and overwhelmed me at times. But I pushed on. I was so hungry to learn and anxious to succeed that I forgot I simply don’t have the oomph of a 20, 30, even 50-year old now.
I have to take this down a notch. I have to dial back. Here’s what I plan for the upcoming year. I wonder if my plan will hold?
Keep writing. Turns out, I love writing books. I love it.
Keep painting. I love sketching and color play and painting as much as I love writing books. Art runs a close second, anyway.
Keep building a local writing community. I have learned so much from my local writing buddies, but most of us are getting up there in years. I want personally, to hear from all writers of all ages in my community. They build new-to-me worlds to discover.
That’s about it. No art shows – maybe one. No story submissions. There will be work around getting books published and artwork promotions, but these activities will take a lesser role – not a third of my time – in the days ahead.
While I’m in Fergus, for two weeks I get to discover what it feels like to have nothing to do but read and write. Oh, and buy a toothbrush. I always forget something!