I'm not fantastic at the whole 'leave your life behind' residency concept. I've gotten better at managing my time since my first residency here in Chicago, or, even more laughably, my first residency at Goddard College, where 'manage your time' meant playing Hearthstone in bed and looking for edible food. (First semester of MFA residency sucks, guys. You're looking for a way around while trying to figure out why they accepted you while juggling a mountain of workshops and tasks...)
But I'll admit that I do other work while I'm at residency, try to find time to do art when I'm supposed to be writing, and even keep up some scheduled commitments like student council meetings, Aisthesis scheduled events, and paid work. That's not because I'm a malicious person. It's because I see my time at home annoyingly expended the most by mundane chores and errands, and when I'm out of town, those vanishing is a huge win.
Someday, when I'm even better at residencies, I'll do it. I'll shut off my cell phone--okay, except to call home so my mother doesn't send a search and rescue party--and tell everyone I'm unavailable and stop answering emails. But right now, the work I do is important to me, and I can't shut off things like my classes workload without incurring a huge time penalty later on. The goal of a residency--for me, right now--is to carve out a different niche in time and space for my work. I don't cheapen that by overcommitting to 'other' activities. Nor do I diminish it and risk burnout later by turning off the rest of the world.
So, without further lead up, here's a list of what I plan to do this week. I wrote it before I left, so even though I'm in medias res as I type this, I haven't modified it at all. I'll post when I get home and let you know whether I was successful:
I'm at the House of Two Urns, a magical B&B in Chicago this week. It's just a few minutes from the Blue Line's Division stop, but it feels a world away from the busy hustle of Chicago.
I've been here three times now, twice for a writer's retreat and once to continue my dream of seeing all thirty active MLB ballparks. It's a fantastic, welcoming place run by wonderful people who happen to be active in Chicago's literary and artistic community. In the winter, Miguel and Kapra run artist's residencies, which is a clever way to supplement their business during Chicago's frozen winters while enriching the lives of working artists.
What is a residency in this context?
For instance, Two Urns' residencies are one week long because they focus on community, holding dinners, recommending events, and encouraging artists--especially their visual artists--to spend time in Chicago's thriving art scene getting inspired, making contacts, and planning projects. I wouldn't expect to come here to complete an entire body of oil paintings, which would be best done at home. Even a writer might not make much headway with a week of uninterrupted time--although I accomplished much more than I thought I could the last time I came. What I love the most about residencies is the space away from the daily treadmill that makes it hard to plan realistic future events. I often find myself planning my next residency--even applying for it--during my time! It feels like cheating on the current residency, but I'm wild about the psychic distance from my desk at home that allows me to push forward with my writing.
I'll be writing more about residencies, and holding myself accountable to my personal goals this week!
We're an old guild, but new to GW2 and WoW, at least as a collective.
What does that mean for us?
Basically, it means that our resources are zero, but our hearts are full, and our eyes are greedy. We'd like to have a developed guild yesterday to reflect that guild we were in SWTOR, but, at the same time, we aren't that guild anywhere else.
In WoW last night, a group of somewhat-scrubs took my total scrub Death Knight through a raid last night. I'm such a noob that I don't even know what raid it was, which I'm telling you honestly here because it epitomizes our state as a guild. Sure, we're still in SWTOR, but most of our loyal membership has one foot, maybe both feet, out the door. Others walked out a long time ago but have come back or further into the guild now that we're not defining ourselves based on a game. From a GM standpoint, there's been a ton of little executive decisions that make a huge impact, such as:
Of course, I'm still also responsible for supporting the people who want to continue playing SWTOR. So I have a lot of work to do as we make the jump, but at least I have enough knowledge and resources built up in SWTOR that I can do enough in that regard.
So, unlike other people, I have an entire agenda of things to do in videogames that are hard deadlines, because, without them, we can't continue building up Aisthesis. However, I'm not alone in this; I have a dedicated group of friends who want to help, whether it's shouldering some of the burden of knowledge and resource-building in one game, continuing to play and support in another, or just providing moral support as we figure out how to move forward. I'm grateful for those people all the time, because without them, there's no way I would be trying this in the first place.