All-South-African reject.

After the mammoth effort I went to to apply for the MA in Creative Writing at Rhodes, and the jumping over one impossible hurdle after another, and the MONEY that I spent trying to make it happen, I got everything into them for the deadline, and then…


I got rejected anyway.


I do wonder if the universe was trying to tell me not to bother when it threw every obstacle it could my way. But I knew that if I did not try I would regret it. So I just kept going.

Logistically my life will be much easier now that I do not have to fly to South Africa in Feburary. Any travel plans I might have had were on hold. Now I can travel again! And will have extra money that does  not need to  go to fees and flights.


I won’t have to come home late after work and get straight to working on assignments. The thing is, I was kind of looking forward to having writing assignments again. I find them fun.


I won’t lie, my confidence has been knocked. I thought I could make the grade, I really did. But I did not.


A Masters in Creative Writing does not actually mean anything. If you get one it does not mean you are “a writer”. The only way to be a writer is to write something and publish it, whether you have an MA, a PhD or nothing at all.


It’s just that I like studying. I love it. That MA sounded like pure fun and happy challenge to me.


Am trying to convince myself that I don’t suck, but it is hard right now. Will keep repeating Damaria’s words in my mind:


Let’s die trying!


On another note, I have discovered some more indie awesomeness to keep me going. The only problem with this music is that it is making me feel incredibly sad right now, what with rejection blues and winter darkness blues. This song is so poignant to me. I imagine it playing when we finally return to South Africa (if the BFG EVER gets an appointment for his operation!) and bawling my eyes out.

This guy is another funny looking indie artist, but I must say I tend to find these guys attractive just because they write such beautiful and soulful music. Personality always shines through, IMO.

If only female artists would realise they don’t need to dress up in S&M gear to make incredible music. We have a way to go still, in that arena of life. Poor women are still confused into thinking that liberation means being as sexually overt as they think men want.



9 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. tiah
    Dec 03, 2011 @ 16:33:04

    Well, shit. But don’t give up. I have a three ring binder that holds all my rejections. Sometimes you win. Writing is about being stubborn.


  2. Roz
    Dec 05, 2011 @ 19:25:02

    Hi Po,
    I’ve been reading your blog for awhile now. As a South African living abroad I can relate to many of your experiences. Your writing is very enjoyable to read, which is why I keep coming back to your blog! So don’t be discouraged. Continue doing what you love doing :)


  3. Po
    Dec 05, 2011 @ 23:59:36

    Tiah: thanks, I know I am used to rejection, but I have suffered writer’s block ever since this one. I am trying to ignore the whole “not making the grade” thing. Blegh.

    Roz: wow, thank you so much! I have struggled to write on this blog this year, writer’s block for sure. I assume no one really reads it any more. It is weird how when life gets most hectic it is often least appropriate to write about it on a blog, even though a blog is usually set up as a ranting and refuge place. Do you not write a blog I could follow?


  4. paulabubble
    Dec 06, 2011 @ 15:33:05

    Oh my dear darlink Po, (at this point I should let you know, I resisted calling you Malintshka.)

    Don’t sweat it. I LOVE tiah’s comment and will therefore neither add, nor dilute to it.

    Get a ring binder, add this letter and let it go. But keep going at it.

    With regard to your music, I’ll have a listen after I am out of a noise infested area.


  5. Roz
    Dec 06, 2011 @ 17:38:50

    No, I don’t have a blog although I enjoy reading them. It must be great to have a “ranting and refuge place” though… but I would feel like no one would want to read my rants! I like the humour in your stories about the less than fun things that happen to you. Hope you continue to write this blog; I will continue reading.


  6. Po
    Dec 06, 2011 @ 18:21:57

    Paula (or should I say Paulintshka??) hahah you always cheer me up. I think you might miiiiiiight like this music. Actually I am on the hunt for new music and am listening to Beirut right now, which was recommended to me by YOU a while ago. I’m trying to decide whether to download their stuff. But I would love to hear what you think about the above video. The guy is not exactly hot, hahahahahaha just another weird looking indie guy, but I think that look is actually starting to grow on me, because their music is so beautiful.

    Roz: I used to use my blog as a ranting place but I have passed it on to people I know over the years, actually now I have kind of lost track of who knows and who doesn’t. I just need to think a bit more before I write these days. Also I am terrified of someone at work finding it. I don’t reallly bitch about work here, but still I like to talk about it to some extent and I want to keep it private in that arena!


  7. Ilse
    Dec 08, 2011 @ 17:04:15

    Dear Po, I’m another South African living Europe and a much published Afrikaans author (of rubbishy novels) now earning my keep as an editor of academic texts written by non-native speakers. I’ve been reading your blog for a long time now and honestly believe that you have more talent than Rhodes will ever have in a whole class of Master’s students!


  8. poseamonkey
    Dec 08, 2011 @ 23:09:29

    Holy cow, Ilse you are too kind! How bizarre that this post brings out two secret readers :)

    Thank you for your kind words, actually the day before I got rejected by Rhodes I had this idea for a YA novel, or series of novels, perhaps of the rubbishy genre, although I don’t think you should call your novels rubbishy! My dream was always to write a novel like JD Salinger, but maybe I could try writing a more genre-driven novel and still have a load of fun with it. Who knows? I think I was limiting myself before trying to write only serious things. Hmmmmmmm, anyway I have not given up yet, thank you for your encouragement.


  9. Ilse
    Dec 09, 2011 @ 10:52:38

    Po, if you have an idea, start writing before you over-analyse. Characters have a way of coming to life as soon as you start writing and soon enough they’ll be kicking their booted feet and screaming inside your head. Then you’ll be very happy that (unlike me) you don’t have a large family doing ditto outside your head! Whatever you do, do not edit yourself – just go with the flo. There will be time enough to refine once the story is actually there. If you need help, just ask!


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