Post MFA Report
In my mind, I talk to my teachers. Claire, I say, I’m studying those literary magazines you told me to submit to and last night I heard a voice, started a new story. Jack, I’m putting together a packet for that journal you connected me with. Pete, it’s 2am and I’m drinking tea, relaxing and writing. Judy, I say, I’m using some kickass verbs and looking at the old horse story I sent you, mining it for details. Ellen, I say, I’m naming things (like the cecropia moth that’s set up camp on my porch door). John, I’m naming the fears and looking at them when I can. Sandra, I’m starting to open myself to writing as political, writing as momentum, writing as social change. Dorianne, I’m trying to stay in that moment and dig deeper, see what meditation can unearth and how time can expand on the page.
It’s only been two days, but so far so good. I’m reading 50 pages of day of a novel I’m critiquing (just the initial reading stage) and 4 submissions a day for a literary journal I’m guest editor at. I’m blogging about once a day and I’m writing a poem every other day to Cam. I’m staying up until 2 or 3am and getting at least an hour in of writing and an hour in of reading after all the other work is done. I’m getting 7 hours of sleep a night. I’m trying to smile even more at work. I’m leaving campus earlier after dinner and not answering the phone. I’m checking email only twice a day and never in the morning.
Like I said, there are fears. I could expound. But I’m don’t feel the need to make them any more real than they are. Before I left, Claire sat down at the post-graduation party with me and said, “Katey, I don’t want to ever hear that you’re not writing. It’s good life, the writing life, it really is. And you’re doing it. You can keep doing it. And don’t give up on that fiction. You got it kiddo, just keep going.”
And so it goes. One day at a time. Doing everything I can to keep writing. Trying to be patient, to remember that I still have to do things like work and cook and talk to friends—and I don’t have to resent these things because they take me away from the desk, rather, I need to live in these moments more thoroughly so that when I return to the desk, I can imagine as deeply as possible.