Good morning, folks. It’s 3:00am and I cannot quite get back to sleep.

I read my first two books of the semester. I’m hoping to write the craft essays for them today. I want to get some creative writing done too. I know I still have a little while until my first packet is due to my mentor, but I joined a new writing group, and I also need material for that. I toyed with taking an extra semester in grad school- an option we have so that we can build our manuscript- but after thinking about it long and hard, I’d ideally like to graduate with my own class. I’m still open to staying for an extra semester, but as of right this second, my goal is to graduate in July of 2012. So soon! Didn’t I just start graduate school? Anyway, my original point was that I need some creative material for my mentor as well as my new writers group. Both are going to be due within a week of each other, so technically I could use the same stuff, but I think thats cheating myself a bit. I’d ideally like to submit some first drafts to my writing group and then have a month to revise and rework them before I send them out to my mentor. Which makes this time- the first submission for both entities- double the work. I think that is why I am a bit nervous. I just feel as if this is the semester where I should really constantly be pushing out new material. I don’t even care so much about whether its good or bad. I just want to have options. I’m concerned that my ideas for a third semester project are going to leave me little time to submit creative work to my mentor, and the fourth semester is going to really be about putting together a manuscript, not starting from scratch.

I haven’t decided yet whether or not I plan to write a collection of essays or a full memoir for my thesis. I don’t see a direction for a complete manuscript. I think I feel a little more comfortable writing a series of connected essays, but that is what makes me nervous. If there is anything I have aimed to do in graduate school it has been to shy away from my comfort level. And that has only brought me wonderful gifts: the Trueblood Award, becoming the Nonfiction Student Representative, amazing friends…. I think about that all the time sometimes, about these people I’ve met through school. It has only been about 6 months that I’ve known my classmates and teachers, yet I have some really strong connections with some of them and deeply care about many of them. Just six months. Isn’t that amazing?

When I broke my foot during this past residency so many people just swooped in to take care of me. Of course that left me feeling a bit uncomfortable. I mean, I have no problem being the center of attention, but I’m familiar with being the caretaker roll, not the person who needs to be taken care of. Again- the same issue- my comfort level. Yes, having everyone concerned about me made me a bit nervous. And yes, I did try to keep a “tough guy” act going. “I’m fine; no big deal” I’d tell them. But many of them saw right through that. My friends let me feel as independent as possible, and then always seemed to be waiting in the shadows and ready when I needed them. I’m in love with my friends. Its true. I’ve been blessed with some of the most kind, caring, funny, pain in the ass, sarcastic, open, talented, opinionated, free spirited, wonderful, fantastic friends in graduate school. When I was trying to figure out where to go to school, just one short year ago, I read a quote by Elizabeth Hilts on the Fairfield website. She said, “It’s like finding my tribe.” She is exactly right. It is just like finding my tribe. When I started the program, a friend commented that maybe I would “meet” my special someone at school. I don’t think this is exactly what she meant by that, but I did. I met many very special someones.

Like I was saying previously, I’m not sure whether I will choose to do my thesis in essays or attempt a full memoir, but I’m going to just “trust in the process.” I’ve always gotten exactly what I needed. More importantly, I’ve always made the best decisions for myself with school in mind.


  1. Elizabeth Hilts says:

    “I don’t see a direction for a complete manuscript.”

    At this point in the process, isn’t it more important to just write? The direction will become clear…

    • erin says:

      I know… but I have to actually challenge myself a bit… not sit home and organize my drawers instead of writing… darn i knew i shouldn’t have done that tonight…

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