All posts tagged: novel

On Publishing a Novel

Tonight I began listening to the audiobook of Moby Dick. They sure do like to talk about whales, right? I wonder if anybody would still be my friend if I talked about whales that much. Probably not. Maybe it’s strange that I’ve chosen finals week, of all times, to embark upon such an endeavor, but it’s kind of the best form of procrastination—I feel like I’m doing something productive while at the same time avoiding all of the other productive things I’m actually supposed to be doing. I wonder how Melville felt when Moby Dick was first published, if he was like, Yay! Or more like, meh? I’m about to do that same thing for the first time, that “novel-being-published” thing, and it’s surreal, a very surreal experience filled with both excitement and doubt. Here’s the lowdown/background/what have you: for my thesis project as an undergraduate at Brown, I began writing a novel about a scientist whose wife and daughter had disappeared one day and never returned. The seed of this idea had actually emerged …

On Finishing my MFA

Image: waferboard In September 2012, I embarked upon a creative writing MFA at Stony Brook, Southampton. This was my first return to academic environs since my completion of an MA in sociology in 2010. In the intervening years, I taught briefly. I also attempted to write on my own. The idea appealed to me romantically—sitting down each day at my desk, a diary open in front of me, and just writing, writing, writing. Ever since my childhood, I have been an inveterate consumer of notebooks, always eager to finish one as soon as I bought it. I was, as yet, unfamiliar with the idea of revision, happy to believe that the words I had just penned would make their way unassailed to the printed page. Writing on your own is harder than it sounds, much harder. It is difficult to stick to a routine when you are your own master. It is so easy to give up and say that you have no idea what to write, that you are suffering from a mental block. …