written by Keaton Tennant
I don’t know what I’m doing. That’s what my bio on Twitter says. That’s what I whisper to myself when I click the “Submit” button on Submittable. That’s what I think when it’s three in the morning and I’ve finally finished the part of my story that was taking me weeks to complete.
When my mentor, Kelly McMasters, had first told me about an opportunity to work with her and Melissa Connolly to help start up a literary magazine right here at Hofstra University, I was nervous. That overbearing feeling of “I don’t know what I’m doing” kept coming up like a whack-a-mole, and I wasn’t hitting them hard or fast enough.
A part of me feared the fact that I was working with MFA students. Another part of me feared that one wrong decision and the entire project could tank within seconds like the stock market. If I typed things in Helvetica instead of Calibri, bees would go extinct. If I used the bathroom at the wrong time, California’s drought would somehow reach across the plains to the east coast. If I followed Kim Kardashian accidentally on our Twitter account, Pluto’s orbit would be massively shifted and crash straight into the Earth.
After a few meetings with Melissa and a couple of reassuring conversations with Kelly, however, that voice started to shrink. It became less of an “I don’t know what I’m doing,” to more of an “I can do this,” and then, after a month and a half of working here, finally to an “I know exactly what needs to be done.” Of course, when I did follow Kim K nothing happened, though I wish she would follow back and potentially submit something.