my former students who are getting their work published, I am noticing as a trend, did not work primarily with me– they worked primarily with a more mainstream/more hooked-up writer than me and then also worked with me, but in a secondary or consciously supplementary way.
I feel like I might be useful to students in a broad way, like moving their brains around a little. With students who are kind of “my” students– they work primarily with me and supplement with others– I worry that I can’t do that thing where you show them stuff that gets them published– even at littler edgier presses– I don’t have a sense of or even a belief in finding that “thing that works.” For some of them that is not the point, and they wander into other relationships with writing. But for some it’s really hard– I can love and ‘get’ what they’re doing and then they just can’t find others who really do — or some of them– they can’t take what is awesome and, like, finish or refine it so it really stands on its own.
It’s probably that I am not a booklover. Except in the sense that I think as objects so many are excellent, I am not a booklover– something I think I should try to write out some time, I’ve been thinking about it for so long.
But I have seen former students who have impressed their primary mainstream teachers and then not gotten the response from publishers that they felt they deserved and in a couple of cases I believe it kind of destroyed them as people– that form of ambition unfulfilled– those expectations of a teacher who “gets you” or merely from a teacher who is successful having “gotten you.”
I bet it’s coming, though. I think the publishing world might be more interested in my kind of writer than in years past…