5 Years of Writing and Publishing in 3 Documents

Because I write “a little of everything” and I want to know what I actually mean by that.

Poetry, fiction, and nonfiction. These are my options as I get myself squared away to apply for grad school. I’m leaning toward poetry, but I want to be sure I’m really truly making the best choice for my future.

One way I could do this is compile writing samples for every genre and apply to each school in each genre for a grand total of nine MFA applications. This would put the responsibility of making a decision on someone else’s hands. So f*ck that sh*t.

Another way to decided — and the one that will be made to win out — is by feel. Right now I feel mostly like a poet, but I am also feeling like a storyteller and a philosopher. So how do I get my feelings to form a consensus?

By going in the opposite direction by getting hyper-logical with this sh*t.

Step One — The Tally

First I copy/paste every poetry piece I’ve written in the last five years (since moving to Providence) into a document called PoetryPages, all fiction into FictionPages, and all nonfiction into NonfictionPages. Then I format everything to be the same font and spacing. This will give me a total page count for each genre.

Step Two — The Score

Next I compare my existing page counts to what is required for the writing samples. This is to determine how many times over I could apply in each genre with what I currently have. The highest number of applications in a genre wins.

How I feel about that will be the final deciding factor.

Also published on Medium.