I’m in my second week of my UCLAx course in Transformational Writing. My first submission was due on Tuesday and it was agonizing to get through. The nature of the writing in this course is using writing as a way of healing - treating traumatic issues in detail, being specific about certain events and how they made us feel; connecting those two things is paramount in this type of writing.
My first submission was about the first time I saw a psychiatrist. I had a hard time thinking about how to be specific, at least in terms of sensory description. In that state, back in 2007, I existed in a fog so it was really difficult for me to remember certain details.
I am thinking about writing from more of my present struggles, as they are happening and seeing how effectively I could do that, since I can kind of access those memories more easily, and they aren’t processed as much. That’s something I want to play with, but I can bet I will find some trigger points when I come across subject matters that make me shut down. Namely, immigration, which is largely what I’d like to tackle anyway.
In my free write, I think I came to the conclusion that if I were to pursue an MFA, it would be me using the resources I had - my creativity and financial support from my family - to achieve my goals. If I were a different person, I would have different resources to work with, like perhaps more mental stability and professional drive, which might lead me more down a path in an office or some sort of employment that would get me sponsorship. It was hard for me to accept this before, because I felt the guilt of being a financial burden on my family and I was down on myself about not being able to get my shit together enough to pursue work, but I need to move past that. Also, the work that I do want to do is more creative writing in nature, so I think taking this time while I have it to re-organize my brain and focus on a lifestyle change that I can devote to writing might be good for me. I should be happy to be so fortunate that my mom and aunt are giving me this opportunity - just the way I might feel happy if I had greater mental stability to tackle an office job.
It’s time for me to stop beating myself up about what I don’t have and make the most of what I do have, and for now that is time and family support. And with it, I will write.