So what's been drilled into my head is this: every story must begin with exposition.
This maybe debatable, but I can see the reason for this. The reader needs to feel some attachment to the character they're reading about, so that they care about what happens to them. Otherwise, people will ask, "Why are you writing this story?"
I want to start off with this exposition of myself because I do want somebody to actually read this and care enough to keep coming back. However, I hate that thing some of my classmates do where it seems like a list of character traits in narrative form, going, "...and then... and then... because of..."
I'm an MFA student (doesn't really matter where right now) and I have 212 days to self- publish a book and sell it. No big deal right? Yeah, of course not, because I've been getting ready for this since I first stepped into class.
5 years ago, I had this crazy delusion that being in an MFA program was going to be a lot like Allen Ginsberg, William S. Burroughs, and Jack Kerouac (etc.) getting together. I looked forward to drug- fueled binges and feeding each other ideals that transferred into our work and set our group up to be the influential voice of our generation. It was going to be Free Love 2.0 and I thought there would at least be a drum circle, dammit! Instead, like most MFA students with that romanticized bohemian lifestyle in mind, my fantasies were crushed during my first workshop.
Even the most mundane classroom activity, like introducing yourself, became a bit pretentious. I remember we had to say what our favorite book was and a lot of the "classics" began floating around. Someone even swore "The Metamorphosis" was their favorite book. I finally read it not too long ago and I wasn't exactly impressed. People kept saying it changed their lives, so maybe having it put on that high of a pedestal was its downfall.
I'm going to cut it short with the whining about how wack the program can get because I feel like a lot of people always write about that. Besides, after 5 years (I'll someday relay the story of why it's taken me so long), I've learned to shrug off a lot of the bourgeoisie that seems to stink up the room when more than five writers are together. Plus sometimes I do it too, just to see what's so good about it.
What I want to blog about is my journey to self- publishing my first book, getting my degree, and possibly some of my blunders involving other human beings. My experience is unique even if I don't think so most of the time. Going from an HBCU (surprise I'm black!!) to a PWI and, to spice it up a little, I have anxiety, depression, and PTSD (which is part of the reason it's taken me 5 years to finish this program). My mind goes in crazy and colorful directions, like the image at the top. It's not a burden or anything to be praised; it's just like that.