Experience points.

My Humber writing mentorship is over, and it’s hard to talk about what I’ve learned since May. It’s hard to talk about writing development without sounding foolish. What can I say that doesn’t sound obvious, over-simple? And maybe a little boring? In fact, I rarely talk about it at all, except with other friends who are also writers, who understand how maddening it can be to chase a story, meaning, characters, tie down this shivering little world you invented in your head, and haul it out in front of strangers and make it make as much sense to them as it does to you. Especially when you already think you know what you’re doing.

Or maybe it’s just me, maybe it’s just how I react to rapid, intensive learning. The last session of the latest level of my Finnish class was this week, and things progressed quickly. I was suddenly punching above my weight, trying to construct sentences that I didn’t even have words for yet. There’s a point where I become cocky, overconfident with what I’ve learned, and throw myself into space before I’m ready. Then comes the frustration with myself, almost like I’m angry for not knowing more than I know. It seems I’m more of a perfectionist than I realize. How annoying.

That said, both experiences were fantastic. I do feel wonderful about what I learned in both my Humber mentorship (and of course about my mentor! It’ll be strange not showing her everything I write now) and in Finnish class. I just think I need the month of December to go easy on myself, consume orange chocolate and not think about learning a single new thing. It’s a good month for that sort of thing, isn’t it?

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This Post Has 8 Comments

  1. Jane Flanagan

    Oh congratulations! That’s amazing. And, yes, December is a good month to just be in the moment.

    It’s funny, I quit therapy last week. And as I was reading this I was thinking about that, especially when you said it will be strange not showing your mentor everything you write. Because I will miss my therapist for similar reasons… not saving up everything I feel and think for her to hold up and examine. But I also feel like it’s a good thing to feel like I can do that for myself for a while.

    And not to make this all about me, which of course it’s not. But the headspace seems a little similar and I feel unnerved but happy too. And I hope December gives you that space to breathe and eat orange chocolate.

    1. Samantha

      Thank you!

      I can totally see how it’d be the same headspace. It makes me a little nervous but, you’re right, it’s a good thing to feel like you can do it yourself for a while.

  2. Birdie

    Congrats on finishing such a huge thing! I’m looking forward to hearing any insights or realizations you have as you begin to integrate the work into your writing life, and into your “secular” life. (Because writing is sacred, yo!) December is a good hibernation month, and I wish you much chocolate and beautiful reflection.

    1. Samantha

      Thank you! I’m sure there will be thoughts, indeed.

      1. Birdie

        Just wanted to drop by and say that you were in my thoughts today. I hope the hibernation is wondrous, and that you are doing NOTHING but eating chocolate oranges and getting foot rubs from your sweetie. :) Happy Holidays!

        1. Samantha

          Aw, thanks! Chocolate has been consumed, along with many other junky things. Hugs from me!

  3. Sarah

    Congratulations! I agree, it’s hard to communicate all the intangibles of what you learn in a time like that. And it’s a good idea to be a little bit easy on yourself for the first month back into “normal” life. You will know when you need to kick it back into gear.

    1. Samantha

      Thank you! And thank you also for making me feel a little better about my unwillingness to do much in December. I was starting to feel a bit badly about it. But when I think of writing now, I just want to collapse on the floor in a heap instead.