Why You Need to Fund Your Own Writing Residency

I’m currently sitting in Lyon, France in a sweet little apartment in the Croix-Rousse neighborhood. It’s as charming as it sounds. Even though I applied for four different residencies all over the world, and was accepted for two and declined one, I still decided to fund my own trip abroad to spend some quality time with my book. It had nothing to do with a revolt against the system or a declaration that I can do things better on my own. My decision came from an answer to a question that I asked myself when I sent off all of the applications in the first place – What if I don’t get into a single one? The answer – I’ll go anyway.

So I have. Here’s why you should fund your own residency too.

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Best American Essays 2015

It was one of those days. I had slept until noon, lounged in my pajamas until almost 4, and berated myself for most of those hours for not just getting my act together already. Which was all needless nonsense because when the lazies have hit, they have hit, and I have found that sometimes the best counter measure is none at all. I sprawled on the couch resolving to just roll with it. Who cares?! Take. A. Day. Off. Seriously, Type A. Chill.

Well, that was the idea until I got a note from Ann Pryzyzcki at Isthmus telling me that my piece, Diego Forever, had been listed as a notable essay in Best American Essays 2015. While I can’t confirm the specifics of the following events, I have it on good authority that they went something like this…

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2014 List of Books That Changed How I Write

Every year, I attempt to read one book per week, and I’m sad to report that this year I didn’t make it despite giving it my best try. Inevitably, some of the books I read will inform my own writing, and the ones that do tend to shock the pants off of me. This year, was no different. Yes, I read more than four books this year, but these represent the books I read in 2014 that changed how I write.

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