It’s Friday, in Fergus Falls, MN.
I meant to take the day off to read, but here I am, on the computer, researching and developing my website and thinking about you all. I think back to how many times people have told me that they can’t find time to write. I’m plagued with the opposite issue – I can’t stop. I’ll be found dead, stiff in seated form at my desk, my cold lifeless fingers arched over the keyboard. And that’s okay by me.
The week past has been wonderful. In residency like this, well, it’s like a writer’s retreat. I’m alone, with no daily grind distractions. I have a window in front of my desk that looks out onto a park that is – and I’m so thankful for this – not covered in snow. And I have all the support I could ever ask for from the Springboard for the Arts Artist Development Director, Fergus Falls, Naomi Schliesman. An added benefit, with this career development residency I receive two hours of consultation with Andy Sturdevant, Artist Resources Director, Lowertown St. Paul.
My first consultation with Andy was on Tuesday afternoon. He wore me out with his enthusiasm. We used our first hour to talk about how I might earn income from writing that wouldn’t feel, maybe, like a chore. By looking at my website and the background information I provided, he offered up ideas I should have seen for myself but missed. Also by looking at my website, he suggested changes with more focused content. I like to keep a cacophony of interests up front at all times. His suggestions to quiet the room a bit are sensible, practical, and necessary. Please visit mefuller.com to see it’s refreshed look. Expect a few more changes in the weeks ahead.
We also talked at length about the Brainerd Writers Alliance – a member organization in my city – how to grow it and how to gain support. Expect to see more from us in the coming year as well. brainerdwriters.com
Next week we’ll spend our hour on painterly talk. I can’t wait.
And what work have I accomplished this week? I’ve worked on revisions to Saving the Ghost – 70 pages to go. I’ve worked on my website, finished (I hope) a short story to submit in a competition soon, maintained social media accounts, and started a pencil sketch for a watercolor series I’ll be working on this year. I wish I hadn’t hesitated over the watercolor pencils when I was packing. I could have used them last night!
It’s been a great week so far. I recommend this experience to anyone thinking about applying for a short or long-term residency.