Resident Writers: Looking for Residencies?

As the smell of freshly sharpened pencils and new packets of loose leaf paper litter the lives of anyone with school-age children in their life, the renewal of the academic year also brings with its cycle new opportunities for writers.  Many of us hunker down for the winter months in our little writer dens, diligently working away in our typical writer-ly abodes.

Somewhere around February, though, most of us begin to pine for different and exotic locales to refresh our imaginations and our mental batteries.

Enter the Writer’s Residency.  Never heard of it?  There are multitudes available to writers, some paid and some offering educational programming and training during the residency.  Others offering meals and guaranteed extensions on “Do Not Disturb” signs outside your cabin door.  Some have applications fees, some don’t.  Some are for a week, some are for a month or several months.

Meaning, there’s a residency out there for every writer.

Many of them have applications opening in the Fall.

A few sites to check out:

  1. The Write Life’s listing is thorough and heterogeneous–tons of cool residencies for any type of writer looking for any type of respite.
  2. The Iowa Summer Writing Program is famous, and for good reason.  Applications are simple (essentially just a sample of your writing, as specified, and a cover sheet).
  3. What could be more stimulating for a writer than a coastal cottage in Scotland?

Happy writing–and applying!

Fatal Error: A Writer’s Worst Nightmare

Don't let this happen to your manuscript!
Don’t let this happen to your manuscript!

I do all of my writing on a portable hard drive.  Since I work off of several different computers in any given day/week, I find it easiest to bring my work along with me wherever I go.  This has been a great system for years and two manuscripts.  And then, yesterday happened.

With help from a clumsy bump of my desk, my portable hard drive fell and cracked itself open on the floor of my office.  Attempts to resuscitate it proved entirely unsuccessful.  If you don’t find yourself superstitious typically, try losing your entire digital life in one split-second mistake.  Suddenly you’ll find yourself haphazardly plugging your hard drive into different USB ports on your computer, thinking that somehow one of them will hold the magic to bring your data back.  You might find yourself bending the cord into unique sculptures under the belief that it will somehow conjure your drive back to life.

Eventually, you’ll traverse the entire set of Kubler-Ross’ grief process.  Denial (I’ll just bandage the cracks with Scotch tape and it’ll be fine), anger (‘Maybe you’ll stop being such a prude, hard drive, if I throw you across the room.’), bargaining (‘Okay, how about I promise to actually update your virus software every week?  Come on, we can make this work!’), depression (‘It’s all gone.’ Tears) and acceptance (‘It’s all gone.’ Acid reflux).

Luckily, unbeknownst to me, my husband had installed an automatic back-up system on our home computer that had the second-to-most-recent version of my manuscript backed up.  Needless to say, I owe that man a home-cooked meal.

Don’t be like me. Make backing-up your work an automatic part of your writing process.

How to do that without disrupting your creative process too much?

  • Check out Crash Plan.  It offers a back-up plan that you essentially set and forget.  Nothing much easier than that.
  • Another option is to utilize the ‘cloud’.  Google docs has a great portal for saving and revising your work, such that you can access your manuscript anywhere that you have an online connection.

Wishing you happy writing, happy editing, and happy back-upping.

Meanwhile, I’m tying on my apron and making my sweetheart something special.

#amediting #amwriting #amNOTfreakingoutaboutlostdata #thankscrashplan