Tuesday, October 09, 2007

writer to writer

Today, good news in the (e)mail: I have been informed that I was accepted to the Writer-to-Writer competitive mentorship program through Intermedia Arts. I applied mainly for the methodical practice: putting together an artist's statement, refining a series of ten poems, writing a poetry C.V.

I love those letters I receive as a writer that begin, "Congratulations! You have been accepted..." Little treasures in the mail. I need to pin them up on the wall, though I am just as pleased with the handwritten note on the rejection slip. Little bits of evidence, a paper trail, maybe to remind me that it's ridiculous for me to think I'm more terrible at this writing thing than anything else.

This happens a lot: What am I doing thinking I could be a writer? How completely ridiculous is that? I have zero talent; I'm just pretending to not be wasting my time and any editor's time.

Or, I think, even now: They didn't have enough applications for this round. Poor Jude Nutter, having to deal with my drivel. It was a fluke, but I suppose I ought to enjoy it while I can.

I think this must be human--this insecurity. Husband is one of the most humble people I know; this is what drew me to him. I love that he is so immensely intelligent and talented and instead of reveling in that, he speaks of how much he has to learn. That he's not done learning, never will be. None of us are. But he fully admits this, and his bosses whisper to me at the holiday parties to never get another job any where else (does graduate school count? because, as a high school teacher, I chose this job partly because of its geographical grounding, because I knew he might have to move one day, and I wanted to slip in and out of a career easily) because they do not want to lose him, he's so good, I'm so lucky, etc. I know that I am lucky.

My own insecurity is balanced with this ridiculous heady feeling I get when things swing the other way: when I get accepted or published, I'll jump up and down like a looney. (Eireann, you should have seen me the day the postcards arrived. Husband must have thought he ought to tie me down to the earth.)

This, too, is good news: our first meeting happens to be on the second night of parent-teacher conferences. That's not the good news, though parent-teacher conferences can tie me up in knots (even though I think they are incredibly important). My principal, who I think is really just the bee's knees, but you knew that already, and here is further evidence: she has allowed me to leave a full hour and a half early so I can make it to the first mentorship meeting on time. She even told me it wasn't a hard decision to make because she said Local High School is "VERY fortunate" to have me and what I will bring back will strengthen what I bring to the kids, which is "phenomenal."

No, really.

She might be a little crazy too. :) Maybe that's what I like in a principal.


EWH said...

Ah, insecurity...one of my closest acquaintances. Let me assure you, my dear, you are fabulous. When we began our friendship I was intimidated by your talent. You've got what it takes, whatever it is, and you are doing everything right.

Kisses! Many congratulations for all of your successes (my postcard is in the mail...I can't wait to see it!)

Natasha said...

Congratulations! I think the feelings of insecurity are common to a lot of writers - I certainly know them well. But look on this as proof of your talent, and enjoy the mentorship program. I hope it goes really well for you.