I'm not an optimist. I have pessimistic/realist tendencies. I'm an idealist, save for the actual idealism. But I'm stubborn about one ideal: We're stuck, we're in it for the long haul. We signed up for this. We knew it long before arriving here, and we'll be reminded of it long after we've left the mountains.
It's in our writer-blood. We signed and sent the memo. We'll keep writing-- maybe sporadically, maybe three lines per week, maybe in a manic haze for five days without sleep (every 6 months or so). Or maybe we'll sit down every day and force words on the page. We'll do it. I know we will. We do it to keep sane.
Here, another Cary Tennis response from Salon to an equally distraught MFA fiction student debating whether to leave her program or see it through to the degree, despite feeling out of place:
It turned out that writing to save myself was the best way to write. Here is why, I think: Our writing is the voice of a person who is innocent, powerless and in need of protection; our writing is the voice of a person who needs to be heard as he or she really is. It is deep stuff is what I mean. And shocking as it is to say, the person who is writing this--the person that I am today--is the kind of person toward whom I once would have leveled pitiless scorn.
Salon, you read us like a book.