Jul 10, 2013, 4:46 PM
Post #708 of 711
You asked for direct, so I will try to be direct:
Re: [notthatcreativearewe] Poetry Writing Sample
[In reply to]
I just graduated from a relatively large MFA program in 2012 and the folks I graduated with are taking jobs at the mall, both in retail and in restaurants. (They would probably climb over dead bodies for a good government job like postal carrier. Oh! True story: one of my closest friends from high school got an undergrad degree in philosophy and religion and he has, for many years, worked for the post office as a mail carrier. He loves it.) The lucky ones from my MFA program are teaching English comp as adjuncts at community colleges, and they are making less than minimum wage once you add in prep time and grading time. No benefits. No job security. Lots of bitterness. You say you are more than glad to embrace poverty, but, let me tell you, one doesn't usually feel that way for long once the poverty sets in.
I don't mean to be patronizing but you realize that you have about zero chance of making enough money as a writer to avoid other work, right? And that almost all of the successful literary writers are also academics because they need to eat, right? I don't know why I'm not used to it yet, but I am still shocked whenever I encounter beginners (for the record I would consider myself a beginner) who think they are going to type up something brilliant and win a Pulitzer and be rich; they think that they are special, that they are the next Hemingway. Sorry, I have been given reason to be irritated in this department today, reason that has nothing to do with this forum--I'll climb down off my high horse now.
At any rate, buy those anthologies and try to figure out why the stories work. Don't let it kill you if you don't get into a program on the first try. The odds are very much against you.
Be regular and orderly in your life, that you may be violent and original in your work. -- Flaubert