Tuesday, March 15, 2011


Unless a miracle happens and I am offered admission to the creative writing programs at New York University and/or Louisiana State University, I will not be attending graduate school this coming fall. I have received seven rejections thus far, and given the range of programs applied to and rejected by, it is extremely improbable that the last two outstanding (not in the sense that they aren't mediocre; clearly, they are) applications will yield different results.

I have decided not to care.

Now, we all make a great many decisions every day that haven't yet been put into practice. I have also decided to jog every morning and to find a place to live with a yard that will allow me to raise goats, but neither has happened yet. So, I'm working on it, the "not caring" thing.

Time spent feeling pathetic about not getting into writing school is time pissed away. Who needs school anyway? Yes, it was going to be a blessed escape from this blue-collared drudgery I've been skipping about in for five years, but there are still lots of options available to me. In fact, there are probably too many options available to me. Says who? SCIENCE (and radio), that's who.

So maybe I'll go tramp-wise and ride the rails finding work from town to town. Maybe I'll go Bukowski-wise and get a job at a post office in a new city. Maybe I'll go back-to-the-land at my parents never-used mobile home tract in Taney County, Missouri. Or maybe I'll even get a damn job and cut my hair. Anything is possible in this crazy world.

One thing is for certain: no more hopeful, starry-eyed self-identification as a writer. I'm not a writer. I'm a dabbler. I have lots of interests and lots of hobbies. Even though I'm interested in and dabble in carpentry, I'm just not a carpenter. Maybe some day. Not yet. Ditto for writing, songwriting, drawing, designing, climbing, building, computer-tech'ing, farming, and about half the other available activities one can choose to do or not. I'm into those things, but I am not those things.

In fact, I'm more than those things. Labeling oneself only ever served to limit. Some labels are helpful, it's true. I'm not railing against labels, though my twelve-year-old self would like me to. I merely hope to point out that labels are mostly helpful for other people to categorize you, and vice versa. If somebody affixes a label to your brow, thus restricting and framing what you are in their mind, why should you care? Let them tape whatever they want to your head, you know what's under that adhesive-marred flesh and bone. Hell, you even control it.

If anybody wants to call me a writer, I won't complain. I might even be flattered. But it doesn't change the reality in which I am not a writer, will not be attending writing school anytime soon and will probably keep writing for no clear reason at intervals too infrequent to satisfy my sense of productivity.

Until next post, or next year - whichever comes first?

(I'm not even re-reading this bad boy - straight to the press!)