Wednesday, July 21, 2004

I'm surprised at myself.

I never thought I'd be saying this, but I REALLY WANT to do this master's program: http://www.spu.edu/prospects/grad/academics/mfa/index.asp
 
Oh goodness...sigh.  It's at the school where I went for undergrad (there are both good and bad things about that), and I want to do it so much.  It's an MFA in creative writing, and it sounds incredible.
 
I have not had one twinge of wanting to go back to school in the past two years, since I've been done with my undergrad.  But I am thrilled with excitement when I read the requirements/objectives for the program.  I want to go do it NOW, this instant.  I don't want to wait a year, two years, or any length of time.  It just sounds amazing and motivating and wonderful. 
 
There are two problems with this.  The first is that I don't think I could get accepted.  I would have to submit several writing samples, including poetry.  I feel completely uncomfortable writing poetry, and I don't have any that I'd be willing to submit.  That's not to say I couldn't write some...but I just don't know where to begin.  It's a lack of confidence, really.  And, I don't really even have any longer fiction writing samples I'd want to submit.  This ties in with the second problem.  I think I see myself as a writer more in my head than I actually am in reality.  I have been trying to write more often lately (creatively, that is) but I have been having a very difficult time finding things to write about.  I feel that I have mastered the technical aspects of writing, at least to some degree, but that where the creative impulse comes into play, I'm stumped.  
 
I mean, people always say to write what you know...and there are plenty of things in my life that I know.  I just don't have a coherent way of writing those things down.  I've been through a lot in my life: parents' ugly divorce, nursing mom through breast cancer when I was 16, sister having 2 babies before she was 21, marriage, etc...so certainly there are things that I could write about, but I guess I have trouble coming up with a way to turn them into stories, to bring them away from the autobiographical and into the realm of fiction. 
 
Maybe part of that is just a lack of education in creative writing, or it's more likely because almost all of my education where writing is concerned is centered around the journalistic, not the creative.  Though I believe the two genres can have a lot to give to each other, they are very different. 
 
I guess that's the point of a degree in creative writing, though.  I mean, if I were already a proficient and published creative writer, I probably wouldn't be interested in this program.  So maybe I do have a shot. 
 
I don't know.  I'm very tempted to use the next months to try to come up with some writing to submit.  The application deadline for the first year isn't until March, so I have a few months.  And, I just looked at the tuition and it's only $25,000 for the entire 3-year program.  Not bad at all.  Though more debt at this point in our lives would NOT be a good thing (with DH going through school, and my undergrad student loans), it's certainly do-able. 
 
Maybe I will just write during the next 8 months, and see what I can come up with.  Who knows?  I just might apply in March. 
 
Ok, this is a really long ramble.  Thanks for reading, if you've gotten this far.  I just needed to reflect a bit and this seemed like the place to do it. 

1 comment:

Joel said...

Kathleen: 2 words - "Creative Non-Fiction." This is where it's at! Fiction sucks and is too hard. Write about your life! You can do creative nonfiction at SPU, I asked Greg Wolfe about it. I don't think I'll go there but I've thought about applying...I'm planning to apply to the U of Pittsburgh for a creative nonfiction MFA.