my final deadline for my fourth and last semester of my m.f.a. program is three weeks from today, and I have something to confess.
I love my thesis, love working on my thesis, but for the love of all that’s sacred I cannot wait to write something else for a few days. i’ve not produced any other new fiction (other than chapters in my thesis) since October 2018…and it’s not for lack of ideas.
I keep a few lists on my phone: names I like for characters, interesting settings, and story ideas. my story ideas note file is huge—which is exciting for me, but also frustrating because i’m dying to jump into it.
i’m dying to do writing exercises, write some short stories, write character sketches. I could do all these things, but it would take away from time spent on my thesis.
i’m going to continue work on my thesis novel after graduation, of course. but once I email it to my mentor and second reader on may 14, i’m putting it down until July. i’ll spend the next seven or so weeks working on other projects and letting my thesis stew.
i’m really, really looking forward to it.
i’m not tired of the work, I swear
this isn’t “senioritis.” I’m not shirking off work I need to do to graduate. and I am enjoying the revision process. I still love my story; I still love my characters.
it’s like when you make a new friend and you spend so much time with that friend because you’re both figuring one another out…and then when you do, you remember you have other friends too who you have to pay attention to, and you stop spending quite as much time with the new friend.
my thesis feels like that new friend. we’re still hanging out, we still get along great, and I still look forward to spending time with it. i’m just ready to not spend every single day with it.
I haven’t surveyed folks or anything, but…
I have a feeling most fourth-semester m.f.a. candidates feel much the same way. I won’t say the feeling is normal because I don’t like the word normal (except when characters use it because that’s on them, not me). but I will say I think it must be common.
if I didn’t have other time commitments, i’m sure I could find the hours to work on other fiction projects and exercises and such. but I really like my new job and writing fiction all day doesn’t currently pay my bills.
if you’re a fourth-semester m.f.a. student, or you have been one before, did you feel this way 3 weeks before the end? so eager to step into another story you could taste it?
the only problem I have is deciding which story to step into. maybe i’ll just start a bunch of them after may 14 and see what happens.