20 December 2019

3 if i were a rich man

the decade is ending, let's clear out the OitC drafts folder...

19 August 2011



there's this fellowship. i first applied three years ago against the wishes of my parents, who thought it would have dire effects upon the man i was dating and my romantic life. i disobeyed them.

i didn't get the fellowship.

i didn't speak to my parents for a month.

the man i was dating dumped me shortly thereafter.

(there's a blog post, should you feel the need to revisit the immortal one time when my mother argued from the perspective of a gender she is not.)

ever one to pick the path of most resistance, i'm applying for that fellowship again. this time, my parents are gung-ho and it's the biographers who are shoulding all over me.

they've said i shouldn't waste my time. i should be less insouciant. i should be less academic. repeatedly they have told me that there are far more interesting books i should write.

to all of this, i have politely responded with nods and smiles and blithely carried on. i've often doubted myself, but never my writing.

which brings us to last week, when i was told that i should write like other biographers. that i should practice the art of biography by reading other biographies and i should imitate the way they wrote. never mind that i am a woman writing about a woman, all the biographies i should read to prepare me to do this are by men writing about men. 

hearing this, i smiled and nodded. politely, i listened to this person i don't know tell me i don't know how to write. only later did i crawl into a deep, dark mental hole.

but i'm out now. and my answer is this: no fucking way, man. no fucking way.

3 comments:

Katie C said...

I LOVE THIS.

Anonymous said...

Oh, my fearless oline, how i love thee...

oline said...

oh, honey, i'm far from fearless. i'm just getting better at being brave.