It’s not easy being green

I like to be all high and mighty and claim that I’m never jealous. Except that it’s a total lie. I’m not jealous of my friends online or otherwise (shout out to Averil!), but when I found out that [name redacted] from my grad program got her book published by [redacted] and that that stupid annoying girl from high school is the darling of the [redacted] world, I get a bit tetchy.

But let’s be serious. Stupid annoying high school girl had a book written when she was 24. I did not. She has continued to write steadily now that she’s thirty-slightly-fewer-mumbles-than-me, and not just poem drafts that never get realized, but real book-length works.

As for the readings. This winter I realized that people don’t just fucking call you up and invite you to read places. You call them and pitch your case. And sometimes you get readings. And then you show up and blow them away (figuratively speaking, of course).

And save your jealousy for picking apart the poetry of Harvard/Iowa girl (Downith translation: highly privileged and selective undergraduate education combined with a supposedly top-flight MFA program that coined the debate on writing MFA or cookie-cutter poems) over a generous glass of whiskey. Be specific and be funny or go home.

What are you a hypocrite about?


8 responses to “It’s not easy being green

  1. Yes, Indy, just yes.
    I spent yesterday reading agent interviews and trying to convince myself that there was any market left for what I write. I’d say I’m less a hypocrite and more manic, going from abject disgust in my writing and its prospects to a ridiculous optimism that something will happen.
    At the end of the day when I’m jealous it’s because I’ve taken the me out of the equation and decided I could/would write better if only (fill in the blank). Best cure? Ass in chair and a reevaluating of my priorities. Doesn’t always work, truth be told.

    • We all do that, right? This is the best thing I ever wrote. Oh my god, someone shoot me now, I can’t believe I sent that out.

      I deal by writing and engaging in some snarkitude with friends. What else can we do?

  2. I’m a hypocrite in that I love–LOVE–my writer-friends and want them to succeed beyond their wildest imaginings. But I get horribly jealous when I read something beautifully written. Whatever phrase or sentence or paragraph or book makes me weak in the knees also makes me feel awful about my own writing.

  3. Parenting, for sure. I am the most judgmental mother in the world and yet find myself closing all the windows when the kids come home just so nobody hears me screaming.

  4. Thanks for the translation. I am reminded that when I first moved over here and heard people talking about Oxbridge, I had no idea that it was “code” for the highest echelon of education being either, Oxford or Cambridge. Luckily I figured it out on my own quietly.

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