Jan 7, 2011, 7:20 PM
Post #6182 of 6280
I know what you mean about remorse, kaybay.
I've been submitting apps in a rolling sort of way -- nine down (I think; I've lost count) and over ten to go -- and I keep revising my second story, the younger story, in between applications. I get it perfect, and then I look it over again, and I notice little things, and I make little changes, and then I believe it's perfect, and then the next day I see imperfections again. Every school so far has received a slightly different sample from me. I've been express- and priority-mailing out envelopes in pairs (today was Idaho and Rutgers-Newark).
Of course this practice -- revising last-minute during the application process -- is totally ridiculous and not recommended. It's just I'm still on a pretty steep learning curve process-wise and craft-wise, so I didn't produce a lot of my deepest work until the months of late summer all the way through early winter, and I had to do a lot of fiery revision throughout December. I pulled several all-nighters at the cusp of the New Year scrambling to purify/distill that second story.
I have given the revision a rest, though, finally. All the remaining schools should be getting the same sample from now on. It's still got flaws, I'm sure, but I've done (almost) all I can at this point, and I am going to drive myself crazy if I don't stop poking at the portfolio.
I am unpublished, have never sent a piece out in my life, and have little idea of how my work will fare in a pile of 500-1,000 other beautiful fiction packets. Getting into an MFA is really like winning a writing contest, when you consider the number of submissions and the number of open spots. If I can just place in one contest I'd be gold.
We'll see how things go. Kaybay, I'm rooting for you, and I wouldn't worry too much -- sometimes we are our most severe critics.