Currently, my days are peppered with exclamation points and capital letters from a certain MFA draft group. There’s a blur of acceptances, rejections, waitlists and ‘still waitings’; stirring a cocktail of emotions on my part.
I’ve got the ever-perpetual ‘FOMO’ (fear of missing out for those who, like me, read the hip abbreviations and fumble for Siri). I read the successes and the horror stories and the advice, and can’t help but feel these pangs of jealousy that I’m still an observer this year. I can only congratulate or sympathise from afar, instead of throwing down my metaphorical hat in shared frustration, or firing off lurid memes because they called me too! I even get a green tinge when people talk about portal glitches, or typos in already submitted manuscripts – I suppose it all just seems so far away that it’s easy to idealise.
There’s also a hugely conflicting feeling of intimidation, coming off in waves. There isn’t a single person on the Draft that doesn’t write in a compelling way, to the point where someone will comment or update, and I’ll remember names, school picks, genres, mothers’ middle names… I might be prone to exaggeration there but damn, these guys could be my competition? And damn, there’s hundreds more that aren’t even in the Draft group? Cue me looking like poor Clarence at the end of the rap battle in 8 Mile.
Anyway, there’s definitely one strange, overwhelming feeling, that can only be described as camaraderie. There’s this mass of sickeningly talented writers, regardless of genre, spread all across the world, who are all passionate about writing, and continuing to educate and better themselves. The fact that I could blast off a post in regards to the overwhelming loss of Harper Lee last weekend, and find it littered with responses that could have come from my own brain, blown up in Helvetica Neue, is completely uplifting and feels almost organic somehow. I cannot wait until I’m able to start building my applications, piling a stack of crumpled personal statements on my attic floor, and spilling my neuroses across the next Draft group. Until then, good luck to everyone, from an only moderately jealous, very tired British girl, who needs to put her foot on the gas pedal, like yesterday.