Friday, November 04, 2011

Your writing is really good... when you're not trying too hard.

That's my first writing critique from grad school, in a nutshell.

I think it's also the fastest somebody has ever pinned down my exact essence into one pithy piece of advice.

You're kind of okay when you aren't trying too hard, Heather.

Wow, Holy High School Social Awkwardness Flashbacks, Batman!

I heard back from my writing professors after posting my first pieces for the MFA a few weeks ago.  My fiction professor had good things to say about my use of dialogue and some suggestions about the ending of my short story.  The nonfiction prof was the one who pegged me.  Quit trying so hard, P!

And really that's the story of my life, not just my writing life.  I've been trying too hard since I was about thirteen, and somebody actually picked up on it after reading one piece.  Blammo.  Hit the nail on the head.

In related news (read: other ways I was also trying TOO HARD) I found out today that when creating my self-imposed work schedule for school I had misconstrued both of my professors' instructions about packet due dates.  I thought I had to read about 15 books and write as many critical papers in two months.  I thought I had to submit 90 pages of my own creative work.  Turns out I overestimated everything by 1/3.  10 books and 10 reports.  60 pages, not 90.

Oh, for the love of mathematic difficulties!

Um, so basically I'm close to finishing up what I need to finish between now and residency.  Residency isn't for a month.

Wow.  I'm going to have a lot more time to do revision and maybe write a different piece to workshop in Palm Springs if I want to.  I've been killing myself this week--scrambling frantically like a shopper on Black Friday--trying to get as much work into my basket as possible.  Now I find out I don't really have as much to do as I thought and I could have been, you know, not killing myself, for quite some time.

I guess it's better this way.  Now I know what I'll have to do next quarter, so I can get a head start.  I'm used to reading, reading, reading all the time so I can stretch out a few books over a longer period of time--like maybe three days instead of two this time.  Geez.

I guess I can chill the freak out for five minutes.

1 comment:

  1. Hey! Have you heard of the travelzoo deal for a round trip flight to Palm Springs for $63 You fly from Stockton to Palm springs for this flight. The website is

    I thought I would share since this is where you are going for your residency!