Tomorrow I will make the seven-hour drive to Rabun Gap, Georgia for a two-week creative writing residency at The Hambidge Center for the Creative Arts. I am nervous and excited and anxious - the good kind, like when you can't wait for something - but, above all, I am mostly just relieved. I honestly feel like it's just going to be a big relief to be there. To be present. To be creative and only interrupted when I choose to be.
It's been funny to talk about this residency with the various people in my life and hear their reactions. The writers have almost all expressed jealously and shared how much they would love to do something similar. They know, like I do, that extra time is the biggest gift for those of us who are always searching for it. The non-writers, on the other hand, have mostly been pretty confused. You're going away for two weeks just to write? But can't you do that at home? Aren't you going to be bored? What are you going to do with all that time?
Truth be told, I am a little worried about having so much time at my disposal. It's certainly not something I'm used to. I'm also not used to having nothing and no one else to take care of. So, this is what I think I'm going to do:
I'm going to sleep late and go to bed early. I'm going to do yoga every day, even though I'm terrible at it. I'm going to drink lots of coffee and tea and wine. I'm going to go on long walks. I'm going to finish those three essays I've started over the last couple of months and I'm going to write my first new short story in over a year. I'm going to put together a puzzle. I'm going to read as many books as I can. I'm going to sit around a dinner table and break bread with other artists and hear their stories and learn about their work. I'm going to start my next novel, which has been burning a hole inside me for the past year.
And I'm going to do it all over the next two weeks. Here we go.