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MFA Notes: Life as a Public Writer

life as a public writerQuick Notes: Lesley University MFA: Q & A: Life as a public writer

Recently, I graduated from Lesley University with an MFA in creative writing, and I decided that I wanted to share what I learned in a series of blog posts.

I decided to share for two reasons:

1) My notes, although not too detailed, could possibly  help other writers.

2) Rewriting my notes forces me to re-read and re-think everything I learned, so it’s a win-win.

But before we dive in, please keep two things in mind:

1) These notes are neither complete nor perfect. The classes at Lesley were not typical lecture/note classes; the classes were filled with writing and thinking exercises and often this left no time for notes (in a good way). However, even with that, these sparse notes, I do believe, could still offer value.

2) I may, from time to time, include actual writing prompts from the classes, please bare with me, they’re first drafts and were done in the moment.

I hope you enjoy this series of notes and if you have any questions about the notes, Lesley University, or MFA’s, please feel free to contact me.

Life as a Public Writer

Writer down your artistic statement: Who am I as a writer?

Just keep writing. If you don’t write for a while, don’t beat yourself up, forgive yourself and then keep writing. The only thing you control is the work.

[Separate the business-hat from the writer-hat.]

*Work shopping – Just because a piece can make it through a workshop without too much objection or abuse doesn’t mean it’s good. The good stuff should raise objections, it should offend and should invite abuse. (This doesn’t mean to write sloppy. But often it’s the “safe,” writing which is the least objectionable.*

Poetry is a performative act.

You’re constantly changing as a writer.

The readers and critics really only know an idea of me, not the real me.

Don’t let bad reviews get to you. Don’t take reviews personally-good or bad. Never give up!

Click here to see more MFA Notes

Recommended book for this section: Unless It Moves the Human Heart, by Roger Rosenblatt.

Picture: Flickr/Damian Gadal