Hey, Where Ya Been? Crohn’s, Colitis, and The MFA

It’s no secret my blog hasn’t been active in a while. I recently popped back in to participate in #SonOfAPitch, but besides from that things have been pretty moot. So where I have been? The student, the writer, and the spoonie parts of me have been very, very, very busy. Making for an incredibly stressed me, but I think I’m finally on an up-swing again and I’m going to work hard to make the most of it. But, in case you’re wondering here’s what life has been like for the last year-ish.

 

The Spoonie:

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A classic Monday night

More than likely I’ll do an entire blog post on my FMT, because I am all about normalizing that shit. But for now, let me tell you that the last year has been hell. Last April I got diagnosed with c.diff for the fourth time. (for those of you who don’t know, c.diff is a vicious, antibiotic resistant infection). And after jumping through a number of hoops I FINALLY got approved for an FMT (a procedure which can cure chronic c.diff, but is difficult to get insurance approval for). Prep was hell, but I mean when has procedure prep ever been nice? Post-procedure was alright. I didn’t get better for a long time, to the point that the doctors were amping up for me to have a second FMT, but then it just hit! One day I was super sick and then the next day I wasn’t. Since then I’ve been in remission with only minor bouts of flares. Woohoo! This is my first remission ever and it’s coming after a two-year long fight with ulcerative colitis and C.Diff.

 

 

The Writer & The Student: 

So applying for the MFA is a lot of bleepin’ work. It requires an endless amounts of letters of recommendation, personalized statements, critical thinking essays, and *drumroll* MONEY! Because education is for the wealthy, duh. So, I pooled together what I could and although I couldn’t apply to the 14 programs my professors wanted me to, I could at least apply to six. I thought my prospects were pretty good. I applied to one ‘reach’ school, and the rest were all ‘mid’ to ‘low’ range for my GPA and writing samples. Everything was fine and dandy until…all my low-tier schools rejected me and I am now in an intense limbo hoping that although the low-level schools rejected me, the MFA Yales and Stanfords will see something in me. I know it’s unrealistic and at this point I am basically torturing myself, but I really didn’t see this coming. It’s pushing me to be a better writer, but it’s really damaged my confidence. I feel worthless sometimes. Like…I paid 400 dollars to be told I wasn’t good enough. I don’t regret sending out the applications because it’s helped improve me as a person and writer, but yeezus do I wish I wouldn’t have spent so much money.

*ENTER SEVEN SIDED SPY*

On top of that rejection, I’ve been working on my manuscript Seven Sided Spy for the last four years. Alright, woohoo, good on me. I finished up the fourth draft of this baby and finally had a product I was proud of. I rushed to the library and grabbed a bunch of literary agent books, signed up for query tracker and got my list ready. I even started participating in twitter activities and MSWL. And then it hit me. After reading through other queries’ work, and receiving feedback from peers and professional editors it’s become clear that I’m not there yet. I received a harsh piece of feedback from someone I really admired yesterday and it just hit me. I cried and cried over my spilt milk until I was out of tears to cry. Even though I love this project, I can’t work on it right now. I can’t push myself any further without coming undone. I’ve given this novel its best shot. I have edited and fine tooth combed and put hours and blood into it. But I’m just not there yet. It’s literally just a lack of talent and skill at this point. With the MFA rejections and the pressure to improve my manuscript, I’m stepping down from the project for the next month to focus on better mental health and new writing prospects. It’s not gone forever, I’m sure the fifth draft isn’t too far around to corner, but for now  expect some fun outlining sneak peeks and cool writing exercises! Because I’m putting the spies away for at least a month. It’s for the better.

 

TL;DR:

Me at the Start of the MFA Process

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Me at the End of the MFA Process

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Anyway, I’m going to start focusing on more fun stuff! Like this blog! And my disability advocacy! As well as just being an all-around better person to myself and those around me! So, expect a lot more posts. I’ve got some fun stuff planned. (~ ̄▽ ̄)~

 

And as always, thanks for reading.

-HC

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