The Stegner application got sent out on Sunday night. December 1st, the deadline. I putzed with it all weekend. Rewriting. Revising. Lopping and chopping. Adding a bit here and there. Fretting. Reading and rereading and rereading. I was very tired come eleven o'clock Sunday evening.
What I take from the experience:
The work I sent was good, very good in spots. But likely not good enough. I'm okay with that. The Statement of Plans that I sent them blew. Absolutely blew. Surely they will sit around in a circle and read the worst ones they come across and just as surely mine will make that cut. I would bet money on it. A considerable sum of money. Every time I rewrote that thing it got worse. And I hadn't thought to save the pre-edited versions until I was on about the 15th revision. So it got exponentially worse to a degree I can't even fathom. What is so fucking hard about saying "I want to do X because of Y, and oh btw, here's a bit about me"? Will somebody please remind me of that next November?
But come Sunday, deadline day, I did go at it very hard. I pushed. And pushed on and through the noise and fatigue. Part of me was okay with just calling off the dogs, but no, I decided I wanted this, so I fought through, I competed. Yes, I competed. I have truly forgotten what that felt like. It used to be second nature, a daily occurrence. No more. It has been a long time since I have tried for something.
And I realized afterward: when did I stop competing? when did I decide it was okay for me to be just another guy? an ordinary guy. a listless go nowhere lame ass mofo. when did I decide I wasn't good enough to get anything I wanted?
And I realized afterward: I like the old me much better than this other one. I must compete again.