With a little help from…

Joe sent me this link last night: 13 Tips for Actually Getting Some Writing Done. A hint, perhaps? 🙂

It’s all advice I’ve heard before, which doesn’t make it bad advice. I think it would actually be good, helpful, positive advice if I bothered to listen to it. But, of course, I always come prepared with a stable of excuses and reasons why I can’t/won’t write today or tomorrow or any day between now and July, or maybe August, or maybe just never, maybe I’ll drop out of school and forget this whole project.

I’m exaggerating, but sometimes that’s how it feels inside my head.

After finishing my semester exhausted and burnt out, I do finally feel ready to get back to the Thesis. I’m going to give myself time to enjoy my trip back to the dirty Jerz this weekend and Joe’s visit next week and then get back to work – no excuses, no more fucking around. I’d like to believe the Thesis will be grand just because of my brilliance, but if I’ve learned anything these past two years of MFA, it’s that writing is hard, serious labor.  So – back to work.

I have started taking tons of notes again, jotting down ideas and phrases and images, which makes me feel like A Writer even if I’m not actively working on my collection.

And I’m reading, still! Oh, the reading. I can’t believe I ever stopped. I just finished Barry Graham’s collection, The National Virginity Pledge: Short stories and other lies, which Joe picked up for me because he thought I would like it.  Those are the only stories by Graham I’ve ever read, and I enjoyed them, and the collection as a whole. He has a very definite voice and style – quite different from mine. I think I would have liked to see more variety in the stories, but it’s a very short collection, so presumably that will come with his later works.

(I watched Jamie Kennedy’s documentary Heckler recently and it’s got me thinking about criticism in a new way – less “that was garbage”… sorry Jeffrey Lent… and more “there’s room for improvement, but hope is not lost.”)

Next up I’m finally, finally diving into Ann Pancake’s Strange As This Weather Has Been, and I am of course ridiculously excited. I adored her story collection and liked what I heard of this novel when she came to campus to read to us, so I’m looking forward to it.

After that…I’m not sure yet! The possibilities are endless. 🙂

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