MFA Dispatch

In a half hour I’ll meet with my workshop professor, the one who had called some of my writing a “trick,” but who, when I met with him a few weeks ago, was also curious to know where I wanted the writing to go.

It changes week by week, but last week I turned in something about high school, attempting to answer the main questions people have for me every time I write about relationships, both mine and others’.

Mostly, “Why were you single for so long?”

Not that weird. It’s a combination of things. Timing. Family background. Pop culture and media. Traveling. Being stuck up and unapproachable. Being too self-deprecating and available. Or spending too much time obsessing with people who are either a.) unavailable or b.) unavailable, though perhaps not in the conventional way.

Anyway. I wrote it not feeling completely inspired but thinking, “Okay, let’s get all this down and lift out the usable parts later,” because Monday, when my workshops are, always roll around faster than I expect. I titled it, “Why I was Single For So Long,” mostly because I couldn’t think of anything better.

The result was not really a result, but the mere first step in a long process. For as long as I’ve been writing, it amazes me how little I know about the writing process – about the energy and investment it takes to not just write something – long, short, in between – but to see it through, in all its permutations until it’s complete. And then you realize, it’s never complete. But it can be comfortable.

I submitted it and some people liked some parts, were confused by others, but in general, they wanted more, which is a good sign. I even made some of them laugh. The professor wrote very few comments on the back of the paper, which in general is a good sign coming from him.

“I’m delighted to see you diving into this material,” he said, “Proceed!”

So now I’ll meet with him and discuss coming attractions. Goal setting, all that stuff I love reading about but never implement in my life.

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