Today, I Am Thinking About Books

Sep 4, 2022

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)

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.