This is the first part in a series of catch-up posts. If you aren’t interested in reading about me (and honestly, aside from my family a few patient friends—bless your hearts—who is?) then you may safely skip the next few days of posts.
I swore it wouldn’t happen to me. Everyone I know who’s graduated from a MFA program seems to sink into a post- graduation funk marked by listlessness, aimlessness, and ineffectualness. Last year at this time I asked the recent grads if they’d written much over the summer. I’d get a glum look, a tight smile, a shrug: nah, not much, nope.
Not that I blame them. It makes sense: after two years in turbo-drive, to suddenly lose the very thing around which your life’s structure and meaning has been organized can be disorienting to say the least. Then there’s the whole matter of having to look for jobs, and the decision to move or stay. One must negotiate having partners that, having moved out here for you, have finally found a decent job that they aren’t quite ready to leave.
I swore I would be the exception. I’d hit the ground running. I’d finish the draft of the novel, and the draft of the memoir, and I’d revise the handful of stories that had been workshopped, the piles of marked-up, binder-clipped manuscripts relegated to a plastic bin in a closet in a back room. I’d be productive! I’d be published by summer’s end! And as for the job search … why, with my skills and experience I’d score a high paying, low-stress job in no time! One that doesn’t start until September, giving me the summer to write and travel! I’d collect exclamation points, only to imbue them with irony after the fact!
Stay tuned for the next installment of “Our Hero Returns…Triumphant?”