I was reading over some of my short stories this evening, and I realized that they aren’t that bad. Granted, I still have room for improvement, and if I am accepted at the University of Denver, I will gladly listen to, consider, and critically engage in any type of discussion about my writing. I think that workshops can still help me significantly improve my writing.

I am sort of scared that I recognize that workshops can still improve my writing. Will I ever get to a place where they can’t? I always learn from the discussion of other writers, the awful cone of silence, the sick feeling in the pit of my stomach for a week before workshop, and 3 a.m. slurpy runs because I can’t sleep anyways. ­čÖé Okay, I am elaborating a bit on those last few, but I really do learn from workshops. What scares me is that one of my writing friends said that┬áhe knew┬áhe was┬áready to graduate because┬áhe didn’t need the university to help┬áhim publish. I understand and respect that, but I don’t know if I ever want to get to that point. I like having a community of writers, and I enjoy taking classes and learning at the university. So, why would I want to get a place where a workshop couldn’t improve my writing?

Though, I wonder if those who are applying to DU are at a place where they don’t need the university to help them with their writing. Are they pursuing their PhD in CW because they already write wonderful stories and only need to jump through the proverbial hoops? Do I need to be at a place where I don’t need workshops to improve my stories before going to DU? Or, is it okay that I want to learn from other writers in a workshop setting? I suddenly feel an overwhelming need to write a catechism about why I am pursuing my PhD in creative writing ­čśë

Oh, and earlier I was fearing that everyone at DU would hate me. I had my “but people in Milwaukee are nice!” moment, and realized that I was being silly especially when the voices of friends and family responded (not literally, of course, that would be creepy): “who could hate you?” “there are nice people everywhere” and “do we have that bad of a reputation?!”

In other news, tonight I hung out with Lighthouse writers and heard David Wroblewski give a reading.