Summer lovin’ had me a blast

Only five more weeks left of this vile summer. I hate the nasty heat, I hate the crappy reality TV and lack of new shows that aren’t on cable which I don’t have. Until last week I hated the crappy summer movies too, but Fantastic Four and the impending viewings of Wedding Crashers and Bad News Bears has changed that. Sort of. I still don’t have any money and that’s the most important reason I’m glad this summer is almost at an end. Hopefully next summer I’ll be in Russia.

In better news, I only have one week left in my current vile housing. While I will be giving up my immediate walking access to downtown Ann Arbor, I will be moving to a real house with more than one room and a bathroom I dont have to share with 12 people and a kitchen I can actually cook in. And it’s cheaper. I had a barbeque with my future roommates On Saturday afternoon and it only made me more excited to be moving.

Also this weekend I think I had a literary epiphany. The last few weeks Ive been concentrating so much on Scott Wolven and Laurie Drummond and short stories and MFA programs and literary fiction and literary magazines and I was obsessing about ti so much, as I tend to do with things) and realized I was starting to think like an academic. I was thinking about which stories I could write to get into which magazines so I could get into a nice MFA program so I coulc get a nice tenure
teaching job and not really write anything but short stories.

Then it hit me: I don’t want to be a creative writing professor. I want to be a writer. I want to be a mystery writer. I want to make a living at that and not just have my writing as one part of some obscure academic resume. I dont care about being published in prestigious literary journals. The only reason Im in grad school is so
I can have more time to write, not to get into full time teaching. Sure I’d still like to teach, but as a side career to writing. And sure, Ill apply to Michigan’s MFA program next year but as a lark, Im not going to apply anywhere else except Florida International University and only there because I want to have even more time to write and that program has a history of turning out good mystery writers and I’d be able to study under good mystery writers.That’s it.

This was all very amazing to see.

On that note, this story I’m working on right now will be the last short story I write for a while. I originally started them as a change of pace after spending so much time on my first novel, but Ineed to get to work on the next novel. That’s how you make a career as a mystery writer, you write mystery novels, Duh. I think I’m ready too. This is going to be a bigger, better, more powerful Kenny book. Of course this also made me realize Lunchbox is crap and Im so much better than that now, but who doesnt have those realizations right?

I also apoligize to the two people I emailed earlier with almost these exact thoughts. Much of this post was copied directly from those emails.

10 thoughts on “Summer lovin’ had me a blast

  1. you’re right john. i think i misspoke when i said thoughts. it was more like this:”blahdeeeblah THHHHHHHH bloblubleeblibluuuuuuurp.”

  2. “Then it hit me: I don’t want to be a creative writing professor. I want to be a writer. I want to be a mystery writer…I dont care about being published in prestigious literary journals. The only reason Im in grad school is soI can have more time to write, not to get into full time teaching. Sure I’d still like to teach, but as a side career to writing.”You can do both. I do. I like the variety. Hell, I like golf, too, but I still watch LSU football.–N (www.plotswithguns.com)

  3. Umm, you need a job to be a writer. Writing does not pay; it costs. And secondly, I (for one) did break into publishing mysteries via short stories after beating my head against the wall with novels for about 12 years.

  4. Yeah, you need something to fall back on. Unless, of course, you’re going to be falling forward.I’d say that if you’re going to teach, please, please, please don’t do it as just a side job. Your students will be hoping for more. We’ve all had professors who would clearly rather be elsewhere. Not fun.Maybe aim for a position with a college that truly appreciates that you’re published at all — a community college, for instance. I think you’ll find that most writers, even extremely good writers simply can’t afford to go without the day job. In academia, there is a chance that your day job will actually be rewarding.

  5. You can certainly do both Bryon. If anything, teaching and writing at the same time is not just a decent way to make a living (while also having things like insurance, which the Black Warrior Review doesn’t offer along with publication) but I’ve found that teaching helps my writing. I often end up talking about things in workshops only to realize I’m talking about my own work. Maybe what you need to do is also apply to some low residency MFAs like Vermont, Spaulding, or Antioch. Granted, I don’t have an MFA and they still let me teach, but in the sense that it is good to have a job opportunity while writing, I’d say it’s not a bad thing to do.

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