So… I just graduated from Lesley University with an MFA in creative writing, and it looks like good times, and bad times, are ahead for this newly minted graduate.
The Good: Being done with school is going to be great, in a sense. No more deadlines, no more reading books that someone else chooses for me, and I’ll finally be out in the real world again with my writing–instead of waiting to finish my MFA to get back out there.
The Bad: I’ll miss the intense learning that went along with the program. No deadlines means no room to slack, and throughout the years I actually enjoyed several assigned books that I wouldn’t have normally read, and now I’ll be back out in the real world of writing, instead of in the warm embrace of an MFA program. Publish or perish and all that ballyhoo!
The Future: I’ll be spending some time searching for a teaching position here in Massachusetts (English or creative writing) and will be working towards publishing my thesis (a post-war, post-Mass Casualties, memoir). I’ll start blogging again at the Good Men Project where I’m the editor for the War and Veterans section.
The Reflections: Several months back I briefly covered my thoughts on whether or not it’s worth it to get an MFA, and I still feel the same. An MFA is definitely worth it, as long as you put in the work. But really, it’s the years afterward, which I can now only assume, that makes the difference. I’ve heard too many stories of people graduating from MFA programs only to do nothing with it later. Either they give up writing, or put it on the back-burner only to pick it up again five or ten years later. Some will go on to become teachers, some will never finish the novel/memoir that they worked so hard on, some will finish but never publishing, and I suppose there’s a few who will actually make a splash for themselves in the writing world. The goal now, I guess, is to become one of those few. How to accomplish it though, I don’t know.