Hey kids,Tags: fiction
I'm graduating next week. I take my last final on Wednesday. My creative writing thesis (six short stories) has already been turned in and won two awards: the University Bookstore Academic Excellence Award and the department's Eudora Welty Fiction Thesis Prize. Each prize was $1000. Feels pretty awesome, accolades. Drop me a message if you want to read the collection; I'll email the pdf to you.
It's super strange; I've been going to school for the last six years, full time for the last four. And even though I'm starting an MFA in the fall, hence more school, it's different. I'm leaving Madison. I'll have to start all over again with friends and acquaintances and colleagues and whatnot. I'm not good at those things.
And now the pressure is on. I have to keep writing at an even higher caliber. I have to keep pushing harder, grasping further, challenging myself to write more and more difficult stories. My MFA advisor said that he's more excited for my potential than anyone he's had. My current advisor thinks I'm going places. There's suddenly all these expectations.
I'm not just the really good writer among a bunch of other people; I'm just a good writer among other good writers. You know—big fish in small pond moves to ocean. And then I remember that the best stories I've written happened because I was afraid, because I pushed myself because I wanted to be the best, because I wanted to impress people, because I wanted to be better than someone. They're all my stories, but like most things in my life, the fear of being mediocre has honed my skills.
Maybe that's sad, but it works. Go big or go home. On of my favorite writers said that unless a story frightens you, if you're not sure you've got the talent to write it, then you're not pushing yourself and it's not worth writing.
I guess we'll see because every time I sit down to write a story, I am absolutely convinced I don't have the talent to write it. But I write it anyway.