Today, I Am Thinking About Books

That seems like a silly thing to say, as a writer and MFA student.  When am I not thinking about books?  (Answer: when I am thinking about sushi, reality television, cigarettes.)

But today I’m thinking about books in a different way.  I recently had a poem accepted for publication by the literary journal Two Hawks Quarterly.  I have some other submissions out now hoping to find a home.  I’m also starting to consider my thesis, which I’ll formally begin writing next semester.  All of this has me thinking about my words: why I write them, where I want them to appear, how I want them to sound.  What I would even put in a book-length project.  Who the interested audience would be (if there is one.)

It’s a series of questions that I never really considered before diving into this MFA experience.  The fact that I’m still a very young writer, that I don’t yet have a defined voice, has me second-guessing myself a lot lately.  I don’t merely question the quality of my work, but the subject matter, too, and why I write at all.  I don’t know what I would do instead, but most days this all seems to be very tough business.

I thought that the MFA experience would mostly be like this. I was half-right. (Also pictured: my pal Ian Riggins; photo credit: Kinsley Stocum)

I thought that the MFA experience would mostly be like this. I was half-right. (Also pictured: my pal Ian Riggins; photo credit: Kinsley Stocum)

One of my friends from back home (New Jersey) is also a writer.  She’s an aspiring novelist and a current freelance beauty editor.  We met in high school and have been talking to each other about writing for the past eight years.  We’ve sat in many a Barnes and Noble drinking frappucinos and making fun of Twilight.

“Imagine your name on the spine of a book in one of these stores,” she said to me once.

Those imaginary books are the things that keep me going.

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2 thoughts on “Today, I Am Thinking About Books

  1. You will ask yourself these questions continually as a writer. They started for me when I was in the neighborhood of twelve and still haven’t stopped nearly three decades later.

    All the possible ways of stringing together words in a breathtaking formation is what keeps me going.

    xo

    • Thanks Jett — that’s comforting, in a way. I suppose I need to look at them more as modes of self-exploration than as obstacles to success and a continued love of writing.

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