The Seeker

A Meta-Cognitive Journal About Writing… Plus Other Stuff

Thesis Blues– final?

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I accepted an award last week for the thesis I wrote to graduate Northwestern three years ago.  If you’ve been following pretty much since the inception of The Seeker, you might remember “Thesis Blues,” the long-running serial in which I used this space as a metacognitive journal to track the progress and problems of writing the piece.  I revisited the serial two years ago when I was using part of my thesis to apply to a writer’s workshop (fail), and now is another good time to revisit things.

I read in the Mensa monthly magazine last December that the San Diego chapter of Mensa was again holding their Creative uRGe contest.  There are several categories in their contest; most of them involve writing.  (BTW…  the “RG” in “uRGe” refers to “Regional Gathering,” which is what Mensans call it when a bunch from the same area get together…  one of the unwritten laws of Mensa is that every event or SIG [Special Interest Group] has to be an acronym or have a clever pun in its title).  I saw that one of the categories for Creative uRGe was “Unpublished Memoir” and immediately thought of my thesis, which is at least 20% memoir and almost book-length.  I sent them the first 30 pages and a synopsis of the rest, and they notified me in late March that I was a finalist for the award.

When they notified me, I had to send them the entire piece.  Before clicking “send,” I took some time to skim through it, which I hadn’t done for quite some time.  My initial thought was that there was no way the damn thing doesn’t win first place.  It’s a rare day when I feel so confident in my own writing (that’s usually a recipe for major disappointment, and I’ve been burned before), but I felt strongly about it.  So I sent them the rest of the piece and tried my hardest to forget about it being a contest and how I probably jinxed myself with my ego.  But it turns out I was right.  They notified me two weeks ago that I won Best Unpublished Novel.

It’s odd that my biggest successes as a writer are linked directly to the same source:  Mensa.  My first published piece came as a result of a story I wrote about the organization, and now this award.  I’m glad for the exposure and recognition, though I continue to have mixed feelings about Mensa.

I notified my thesis advisor about the award.  She was happy to hear it, and said this is something I should talk about with an agent.  That has me thinking about a lot of different things, most of which revolve around getting this story back out and continuing to work on it.  I need 25-30 more pages, and I think I can accomplish that with all the notes and unfollowed leads from the initial drafts of the piece, but that’s a lot to think about, and too much to write about right now.  But it’s a thought.


Written by seeker70

June 2, 2012 at 10:15 am

Posted in Uncategorized

One Response

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  1. That is so AWESOME! Congrats. Keep going with it – sounds like a book that needs to get published.

    Pam Parker

    June 2, 2012 at 3:31 pm

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