I'm applying for the Amtrak Residency for Writers program. I realize I have a snowball's chance in Hell to succeed, considering that the program will have 24 slots for the thousands of hopeful writer-journeyers. But I am not the only snowball in Hell, and all of us melting lumps are furiously churning out short essays to express our desire to ride the rails and pour out our words and dreams from a sleeper car rolling across America.
Why do you want a residency?
How would a residency benefit you?
Both answers limited to 1,000 characters, please, including spaces.
Holy crap. I never met a word I didn't like. That much is clear in my general need for an editor. Finding a way to express my desires and needs in pithy blocks of text is challenging. I should acknowledge that my tendency to ramble on paper reflects a general picture of me. Kinder people might call that "limitless." Less kind people would simply call it "undisciplined." I suppose I'm somewhere in between. The rambling also reflects my personal inability to stop. To stop worrying, stop fearing, stop holding myself back, stop comparing my life to others and seeing only a mirror of my perceived failure.
Stop. Just stop.
I need to edit myself. The words? That will be the easy part. The person? Harder. But I will do it.
Right now, I have 1,171 characters on why I want to board a train and sail the tracks to the West Coast and back. I'm sure there are 171 characters that can go keep my insecurities company in the dark place to which they should be banished.
1,000 characters on why this would benefit me? Oh, a million thoughts are circling. I will drink some tea and consider the 999,000 thoughts to set aside. There is time, and I will consider my answers carefully, but like a locomotive, life moves fast, and I need to maintain my passion, hold onto my rails, and choose a destination before I miss my station.