Clarion West Fundraising: Week Eight and Coming Down to the Wire

I’m heading out to the Clarion West workshop at the end of next week (the 21st, specifically). And I’m still working on the fundraising toward that. And re that I’m just going to crosspost my update from the campaign page (since I’ve already talked about it at length there this morning):

And …. week eight.

We are now in the final stretch of this fundraising campaign. I’m heading off to Clarion West on the 21st, so things are now very tight in terms of time.

What, panic?

I laugh at this notion.

*hyperventilates into a paper bag*

But, in all seriousness, we’re still $860 shy of goal as of my writing this. And, technically, I *can* keep accepting donations while at Clarion West–an option I’ve kind of floated as a possibility elsewhere. And I may well have to do that in order to hit goal, but I want to get as much of that goal accrued *before* I head to Clarion. And here’s why:

The intention of Clarion is to be focused as much as possible on the writing. And the course of study and the writing itself is an extremely intensive endeavour. Those six weeks aren’t a vacation: they’re an attempt to make eighteen writers realize their full potential as writers, and catapult them into a different, or at least more honed, level of craft. Or kill them with the workload and the weight of that new understanding in the process.

Clarion *has* been known to break people. Not everyone is used to the required workload, and I would imagine the schedule is crushing for those who aren’t used to working brutal hours, or for those who aren’t already aware of and are suddenly going to be thrust into the understanding that writing, as a career, is a full-time vocation. Not at the exclusion of having a life, but if you intend to make a career of it then you treat it the same way you would any other full-time job.

You sit your ass down and you fucking do it.

Now, the coming scheduling and the intensity aren’t exactly new to me. I’m a freelancer who’s worked for years (sometimes part time, sometimes full time; it’s always depended on what else is going on) with small businesses and clients who can’t afford to pay much, so I work for comparatively low pay as a freelancer (because nobody on any side of this business has money to just throw away, and I’m not a bastard), and often do a lot of jobs over a lot of hours: I work anywhere from eight to eighteen hours a day, usually pulling twelve hour days.

That workload is split between publishing industry work and freelance. And, yes, that can sometimes be up to seven days a week.

(If I weren’t an insomniac anyway I’d probably never get any writing of my own done.)

And I scrape by doing that. Wouldn’t trade it for anything else, mind. The highly chaotic work schedule and seeming absurdity of that life suits me just fine.

But, see, the thing about Clarion is that the same level of focus I normally use finding and doing the work that earns me a (more or less) living has to go into the writing and the course of study instead for those six weeks.

I’ll be doing a huge disservice to the program, the instructors, and my fellow students, If I’m splitting my attention between drumming up funds, and the writing (mine and everyone else’s) and everything that comes with it while at the workshop. And doing so has the potential to fuck up the group dynamic and hurt the experience for all concerned.

So, yes, I *can* continue to take funds toward that goal while at Clarion. But I’d really rather not have to do that.

I’d much rather that whoever was going to contribute something toward the campaign did so in the coming week. And I very much appreciate any help spreading the word, as there’s only so much reach I have on my own.

If we can hit goal before I head out, fantastic. If not, then let’s get this fucker as close as possible.

It’s game time.

If you want to donate, you can do it from here. At this point, absolutely everything (direct donations, spreading the word, whatever you can do) helps.

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