Be happy for this moment. This moment is your life. **
I loved this Sarah Finnerty essay over at Brevity, about expectations following the MFA, which is really about expectations of all kinds. She says, in part:
You are full of anxiety, paranoia, resentment and sadness. You cannot be present inside your sentences or write with intention until you are fully present inside your own body. You will spend years so afraid of failure that you will not put your heart and soul into your writing because it is safer that way. If you pay attention you will notice that you practice this kind of detachment with your relationships too. You are on guard at all times against potential hurt. But if you continue to live that way, behind your walls, afraid of rejection and abandonment, you will live a half-life and your sentences will be half-alive.
And then there was this interview over at Scratch Magazine where Cheryl Strayed talks money and what getting that “advance” really means. You’ll want to click right over and read the whole thing:
First of all, you don’t just get a check for $100,000. You get four checks [over about 4 years]: one on signing, one on delivery—and that’s not just when you finish the draft, but after the editing process, when it’s going to the printer. I learned that lesson the hard way. And then you get another check on publication of the hardcover, and another check on publication of the paperback…. [And] I had accrued $50,000 in credit card debt to write that book. The same thing happened later with Wild, only I was in deeper debt.
And if you haven’t seen it yet, this month’s Poets and Writers features Roxane Gay. Here’s a short interview about her new book:
Happy reading and writing, everybody….
(** from Unfaithful)