After two weeks of reflection amidst the insanity of catching up on work, our week-long church camp, getting the house ready to sell, and buying tickets for Eastern Europe…WJI feels “like a far off dream.”
I am endlessly indebted to our instructors and to WORLD for putting us up and putting up with us. And for pouring their time and experience and patience into our lives. I’ve never experienced anything quite like that.
I’ve also never experienced sitting on the receiving end in a classroom (besides Sunday school). I can now add that to my resume… Only took me 24 years to get to this moment.
Now that I don’t have daily deadlines or get to write everyday, I feel like something is dead. I’m not sure which is the right vibe–that someone I spent time with died or that something inside me died. Either way I hope whatever is deadish, is just dormant and will be prodded and have time for resurrection sometime soon.
Although everything about WJI is deeply wondrous, the constant need to write and widdle and always accessible input and fresh eyes from others THRILLED MY SOUL. It’s what I’ve craved for all my 2.4 decades of existance.
This probably applies to all aspects of existence, but other people dedicated to the same vision as you, even at the expense of yourself/your feelings, is the bomb (priceless just sounded terrible there). It also creates an interpersonal vibe way more beautiful than just hanging out with cool people.
Where from here?
I don’t really know. I don’t think I’m cut out for the hard news world. I want to be because it seems like it is easier to live in an environment of constant challenge and urging onwardness. It is more plausible to have a steady paycheck than other writing options. There are deadlines. It’s important work. It means learning lots of weird things. It means meeting lots of interesting people.
But would it crush me? Probably.
Because I love to write minimalistically (although not on this blog, studies would suggest), I never thought of myself as being into dramatic writing. I thought of myself as writing novels (I have, they’re just afraid of the great outdoors) and stories (real and totally fake/realer than real?).
I want to (DESPERATELY) write about real people and places (namely and primarily Central/Eastern Europe) and also create fiction stories that fulfill everything wonderful and beautiful and soul-vibe-sh that fiction can do best. But, it means being more or less on your own, I guess?
This is my angst/disappointment. I’m lazy and I need help and kicks in the pants and time to invest like a real job…but also money. Also, it would be good if I knew how to write well and all.
Do I need an Ilene? It sounds wonderful. But I probably just need better discipline and less whininess.
For now, I have several wonderful but primarily none writing jobs, an amazing community I never want to leave, stupid and erratic health, a house we need to pack up and sell, and a one way ticket to Ukraine.
Great and never-ending thanks to WORLD Journalism Institute and especially to Edward Lee Pitts and the Olaskys. They are not only amazing at their job and communicating about how you too can be amazing at your job, they are examples of character and godliness and I was so privileged to meet them. I recommend WJI to every soul. Everything I learned will be applicable to whatever my future entails in the writing world and far beyond.
Thanks to all my comrades. You dealt with many things.
Thanks to Jill Nelson who gave me the needed boost to go ahead and apply.
Deep thanks to Daniel, ye olde Mother Hubbard, Lauren, Susannah, Rachel, and all others who look/continue to look at my work and spur me on in the writing life. Especially for your assistance making it (emotionally and all) to WJI. And life generally.