Yesterday I finished redrafting a novel I wrote over the summer of 2009. It is one step closer to the light of day, and I want to record its history. The story of the story, so to speak.
As everyone who knows me is aware, finding conventional employment (especially the kind for which a college degree supposedly prepares you) is not my strong suit. It was with some surprise then, that on graduating from college it appeared I would land a job at the NYC Mayor’s Office. But this was early 2009, the recession was in full swing and, to make a moderately long story short, I didn’t get the job.
It was a setback certainly, but not the end of the world. I had graduated in January, a semester early, and had enough money for rent and living expenses to take me through the end of July, when our apartment’s lease ended. Obviously I would find some sort of unpaid internship, maybe take a side job, and continue the job hunt.
I wrote a book instead (and partied. And played DOTA).
When the lease ended I had no job and no money, so I moved to Atlanta with one of my roommates, who had been accepted into Emory’s law school. The rent was about a third of what I paid in New York, and I had my own room. I had a first draft of a book, a handful of short stories, and some ambition. I would redraft the book, apply to MFA programs, get accepted into the Iowa Writer’s Workshop, find an agent on graduation, and return to New York, triumphant.
But I lacked discipline and faith, and about half-way through redrafting the book I decided it sucked, was so bad that reading it made me physically ill. So I gave up on it.
Then I didn’t do much of anything, up to and including getting out of bed, for a period of maybe six months. It was a dark time.
At some point my troubles… they didn’t go away exactly, but they became less suffocating. I started a second book (cause or effect? I do not know), but I got stuck on around page 100 and gave up.
Roughly a year after moving to Atlanta I started my third book. I wrote the first half in three months, took a three month break (interrupted by partying. And playing HoN), then wrote the second half in three months.
I also applied to six MFA programs (Austin, Alabama, Arizona, Iowa, Indiana, and Michigan). I wasn’t accepted into any of them. No worries, I would try again the following year.
I redrafted the third book.
Then Occupy Atlanta happened, consuming ever waking hour for six months and introducing me the love of my life. Continue reading