Wednesday, January 18, 2012

And the real work begins

I officially have my MFA in creative writing, but when people ask me how it feels to be a graduate I can only stammer something like "pretty much the same as when I was a student."

I'm back to work and back to trying to find a daily writing routine, or asking myself if I even need a routine. I don't fancy the idea of routine... but is that just my laziness? Is it my personality? Would I thrive under self-imposed routine? Or dry up?

Sitting at my desk this morning, catching up on writerly to-dos like figuring out which literary journals and magazines to subscribe to. (Glimmer Train, Tin House, or Ploughshares? Poets & Writers or The Writer? AWP or Writers Digest?) I've got to check the local library to see which ones they get.

I've been gone for 10 days and my cats are especially affectionate. Despite the show they put on of being aloof and un-needy.

I have homework from my wonderful advisor A.J., who apparently isn't done with me yet. I'm not complaining! And my list of books to read now includes The Accidental Tourist and Train Dreams, per her recommendations.

And I want to set tangible goals: like reading x number of books per month, writing x number of new stories, submitting x stories to x journals. Anyone else working on submissions, I recommend registering on They have a lively resource of journals and markets, well categorized, and make tracking deadlines and themed issues a breeze.

So there's where my mind is--a flurry of ideas and questions, trying to figure out life post-MFA.