Reflections on Applications

To my adoring and mostly imaginary public,

I have decided to take a moment and reflect upon the last few months of writing, rather than scramble to put up a hastily composed poem before my self-imposed deadline. It’s the end of the year, so I am already contemplating the many personal and professional changes that took place in 2013. It’s been a damn busy year. Many ups and down. I’m finishing things in stride though, and I couldn’t be happier. I almost feel like a real grown-up, but only in the good ways. Taking care of myself, writing often and improving as I go, setting goals and actually achieving them.

In the next few days I will be completing a process that has consumed me for the last six months. As of this writing I have submitted ten out of my twelve applications to graduate school. The last two should be done by next weekend. If all goes well then this time next year will find me several months into the first year of my MFA in poetry. After all the stress, obsession, and worry that I’ve put into this project I can’t really think about not getting accepted. I mean… twelve schools, right? For most graduate degrees that would be a crazy high number. When applying to study writing, among the most subjective of academic pursuits, one must cast a wide net.

No matter what happens, I’ve just put more energy into my craft than ever before. The work I’ve done these last few months easily matches that of the busiest times of my undergraduate career. At least this time I wasn’t also taking other, non-writing courses at the same time. Such distraction!

Don’t get me wrong; I’m really looking forward to putting this whole process behind me. At the same time though, I honestly don’t know what I’m going to do with myself. Should I get a hobby? I’ve definitely let some things slide lately. At first I was exercising regularly, but that eventually was reduced to taking walks to clear my head. It will be nice to read something unrelated to poetry for a little while. The thing is, I actually like reading about poetry. Not as much as reading the poems themselves, but criticism definitely has its place. Sometimes a good essay or piece of criticism does more to inspire my writing than a whole book of poetry.

I will continue to write, and post to this blog, but perhaps I can exercise some of the writing muscles that have lain dormant. Expect a few exercises in fiction, or creative nonfiction, or mindless ramblings such as this. Can’t stop the writing! For now I must rest. Recuperate. Prepare for a new year and set some new goals. The creativity has been tapped. 2013 was a full and generative year. I can’t wait to see what’s in store!

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