Wow, I feel mildly guilty about writing this. Yes, the time pressure here is such that any time I don’t spend writing, sleeping, talking to people, or critiquing seems wasted. What a far cry from my normal schedule. I haven’t really been on the internet in the last three days.
Anyway, to bring my account up to speed, I arrived on Saturday at 3 PM. I spent the next thirty-two hours doing very little (just getting to know my classmates). They seem like a pretty interesting bunch, and the stories I’ve read so far seem to show that they’re very inventive and interesting writers. Coming from college, I am at a distinct advantage in adapting to the living situation. Our dorm room is just as nice (if not nicer) than my room in 680. I’m only sharing my bathroom with one another person (and he’s another Clarionite). I find the food to be a bit better than Stanford dorm food and half as expensive (at the very least). My meals frequently cost $4 or less!
Yesterday at 9:30 PM they dumped four stories (roughly 20,000 words) of writing on us and told us to critique them. It took me until 1 PM to finish. Our critique circle this morning was four hours. Chip Delany gave us alot of good advice on writing. I can already feel it departing from me, but hopefully I absorbed it subconsciously.
On Saturday I was really worried because all the ideas I brought seemed terrible and trite. I put down 700 words on Sunday morning that were just awful. But on Sunday I had a pretty decent idea, outlined it, and today I put down 3250 words. I think I’ll probably be done by tomorrow and can submit it for critique on Thursday or Friday. Anyway, there goes the fear that I won’t write at Clarion. Now I just have to deal with the fear that my writing will suck at Clarion.
Chip Delany is much less intimidating than I imagined he would be. He actually kind of looks like a black Santa Claus. And he sounds much like one too. He’s pretty funny and very friendly. But he’s also serious about writing and teaching us to write well.
So the plan for tonight is to finish my critiques (3 stories, again totaling around 20,000 words) and maybe put down another 1000 words on my story before settling down for eight blissful hours of sleep. Man, there is no way that’s going to happen. But it really needs to, because I am tired.