T Nation


Ok, don’t read this if you don’t want to hear some whining. You’ve been warned.

I just failed a computer science test (again)… the professor reissued the same exam he gave us before break, because the test scores were so low. I didn’t go up much.

The really hurtful news is that I didn’t get into the creative writing program at my school. I’ve always thought that my real gift was with words, but it appears that the Creative Writing Panel does not agree. I’m depressed as hell, I have no motivation to study for my test on friday, and I just ate way too many hershey kisses. I think that I’m going to give up writing. Sorry for bitching at you all, but I don’t know where else to vent. I feel like shit.

Nephorm-Dude, it’s not the end of the world. I know your bummed, but when it comes to anything creative, everyone is a critic. I work as an artist, believe me, sometimes people love your work, sometimes they don’t. If you really want to improve, go ask the panel what they thought was wrong with your writing, and ask them for some tips to improve. Giving up something you like because someone gave you a bad critique will really depress you. Get a tough skin. Work harder, and you’ll be rewarded

Don’t let one failed test or someone else’s opinion of your work deter you from your dreams. You’ll be depressed for a while, but you’ll get over it; I suggest you then resume writing right away. We’ve all been in situations like this - stay true to what you want and keep working for it. You can make it happen eventually.

Keep your chin up brotha! It could be much much worse, don’t be so pessimistic. Everyone goes through hard times, you just need someone to talk to. I go through em too. Just use your shitty scores for motivation to kick some ass on the next test.

don’t know what to say… try your best and hang in there.

Sorry for calling you “brotha,” after I posted I realized you could be a female too!

Man, do not give give up writing. I was pretty heavily into creative writing about a year ago, and then I got way too busy with work and school to be able to keep it up, so it got pushed to the side. Now I have to make an active effort to do write, and my stuff isn’t at the same level it used to be, which is depressing. Don’t worry about not being accepted, and just keep writing, even though you’re discouraged…if you quit then try to pick it up again i promise you will be even more depressed. And, if its any consolation, I’ve heard that creative writing programs suck. Essentially its a big open discussion where everyone is very defensive about their work and critical of others. I was in a extra-cirricular poetry seminar with a prof last year and I got nothing out of it. Put down the Hershey Kisses, study for your test, quit whining and keep writing. Best of luck.

Hey, Winston Churchill had to redo grade 9 he was so bad, Einstein was ranked 3/4 in his grad class & was a C+ student or something, Stephen Hawking barely got into grad school, Michael Jordan got cut from his high school team or something, Evariste Galois didn’t pass the entrance exams to his university 200yrs ago but students only learn about the math he did (as a teenager) in 4th year or 1st yr grad school. Didn’t Picasso get told all the time ‘no Picasso! You fail again!’ ?? All those guys kept going when someone else would have just given up. You can’t give up just because some people think you suck. School is only about jumping through hoops & sometimes they make you do it just to see you jump. Once you get out you can do what you like. Maybe ask that panel what needs improving & do things their way, at least until you’re in the program. If you just give up on something you like so much you’ll regret it for the rest of your life.

From a creative’s (illustrator/artist) point of view: don’t give up. Everything I do is subjective - from art to competitive bodybuilding. Not everyone is going to like my work and I’m not going to win every show I enter. I can mope all I want - but it ain’t gonna get me anywhere. But I celebrate every victory I have - small or large. And am proud of my accomplishments. So should you. And I"m sure you have been successful - right? So you can eat all the Hershey Kisses you want right now - be depressed. But do yourself a huge favor and be active during your depression. Don’t forego your goals - keep them in sight. We ALL can still make improvements - we’re not dead yet.

Don’t worry…the worst is yet to come. Just wait till you are out of school, you have people depending on you and you lose your job, or you get divorced and your wife runs off woth the kids…or war actually hits home more than it has…Yes, it’s true the worst is yet to come. So you should be happy now, because when the shit really hits the fan, all that petty school shit won’t mean a thing.

One of the best things you can do if your depressed is to watch as many funny movies as you can. Chris Farley is my favorite. Man, I don’t know what’s really going on in your life, but failing a test and not getting into a creative writing class isn’t something to get all moody about. You have other chances. Maybe your study habits aren’t suited to help you succeed in your classes. If that’s the case, change them. And before you blame the members of the creative writing panel, take a look at your writing and see what’s wrong with it. Writing is something that the more you do, the better you get. So I would suggest that you write as much as you can. Oh, and BTW, if you’re the type that likes to write poetry, don’t tell the ladies. They will think your one of those sensitive guys whose a total pussy!

Thanks, everyone. I’m currently taking the intro level workshop, and this was required to continue. I’m a senior in engineering, so I’ll have a job once I graduate. Things aren’t totally horrible. I’ve read over ten books on creative writing, editing, and perfecting work in addition to participating in this class. Sometimes it is just tough to come to grips with the fact that we aren’t talented in the ways we think we are, or would like to be. None of you have read my creative fiction (well, perhaps some of my posts could be called that ;), so I don’t expect anyone to contradict and tell me how wonderful I am. Like I said, I’m just coming to grips, and I needed to vent. This is nothing compared to some members of the board that have trouble with their children, wives, parents, cancer, or life in general. I’m just selfish at the moment. Thanks for the support.

This is a quote from Akiva Goldsman, the guy who just got an Oscar for his adaptation of “A Beautiful Mind.”

“I always wrote. I was writing from the time I was thirteen years old, and I was really a thoroughly failed fiction writer. I have boxes of rejection notes, the really nice ones (“Please try again”). One hand-typed one from Roger Angel at the New Yorker, which one day I will frame if I can find it. I was just dissuaded at every turn and I kept going. What I always say, whenever I’m given the opportunity to, is that I wasn’t the best writer in my class at college, or second-best, or third-best. I’m just the one who is still writing. I spent ten years having every short
story I wrote bounced back at me, in a big chuckling kind of envelope. I just kept at it, and I outlasted everyone else. I believe so definitively that opportunity and good luck will arrive – you just have to be present for that day. You have to be there on the day that stops by, and if you give up, you never have the chance. So perseverance and some study –
learn how to string a couple of sentences together and learn how to lay out a few acts – but this is not rocket science. And it’s not poetry. It is the crafting of words and story, and it can be learned. You just have to keep doing it.” Akiva Goldsman, Interview for ‘A Beautiful Mind’ 2001

although i am not going through your same exact problems, i do empathize how you feel right now, and it is ok to feel that way for as long as you realize that you are the sole person in charge of your life and what you do with it is up to you. i know what kinds of feelings you are dealing with: i moved 700 plus miles away from my family a year ago and my dreams have been recently knocked off the shelf: ( i went thru a break up and i lost my job). so for about a month my spirit was killed. but i wont’ let it kill my determination. now is the time fo ryou to take action and get mad enough to make a plan. i don’ tknow what youa re gong to do, but you have to do something, adn doing something doens’t entail doing nothing at all. if you want to succeed, you need goals, and you need to do whatever it takes to make thigns happen and realize you can do anything. that’s about it. good luck.