Re-visiting this blog, I realized how much I enjoyed it, even though there were a small portion of folks reading my posts. But I enjoyed it overall!
After two years, I’m going to be contributing once more but with more of a focus which will once again, include my MFA process (take 2 for real this year), posting my work (more on that later), posting play reviews, my experiences in SF (location change!), book reviews (I miss writing them for my blog), and so much more!
I made business cards with this address on them and I hadn’t contributed in two years. Feeling rejuvenated with having a steady writing schedule now, making time for writing and also being part of a writing workshop, I’m on a roll and I don’t want to lose that momentum!
A few weeks ago, I went to a Blog Your Book Panel which provided some helpful information on how to put my work out there. There have been a number of people who have been discovered on blogs (’cause many people have one now) so why not contribute to my writing blog that I so enjoyed before?
So, dear readers that are still with me – the beginning of April will have more of a steady agenda of upcoming posts and a bunch more fun activities for me to share with you! I can’t wait to talk about writing and books with you all once again!
I recently got my copy of The Creative Writing MFA Handbook by Tom Kealey back from a friend who borrowed it (and was accepted to Goddard College) and was transported back to two years ago when I was in the “MFA zone.” All I did was research, revise my story, research some more, talk to people, research some more, and prayed I’d get into an MFA program. When I was rejected by all seven schools, I took a break. But man, it was brutal to try to put yourself on the page, sell yourself, and want to study with other writers. Continue reading
I didn’t do as much writing as I would have preferred in 2010; 2011 is a new year with new goals. This time, I won’t create lofty goals that won’t be accomplished. It’s about baby steps, as I always say.
1. Read 40 books in 2011. I have an account on 43things in which this was a goal that I tried to accomplish in 2010; only read 28.
2. Read a book written by Jane Austen, Virginia Woolf, and Kurt Vonnegut.
3. Apply to Graduate School (2nd round!).
4. Write three times a week (even if it’s for twenty minutes).
5. Read literary magazines. I bought a bunch at the literary fair sometime in the summer, I believe, and I have not read them. I need to see what kind of writing the universities churn out. I won’t change my style but at least I’ll know what I’m going up against.
Short, simple, and sweet. Too many goals sometimes get thrown in the mix and then one feels overwhelmed. I’m ready to have another awesomely packed year! 2011 will be the year of many accomplishments.
This morning, I finished a short story for my writing workshop. I was enchanted and completely involved in my story like I’ve never been before. I was lost in the story, I liked what I was writing, and although I know the tale has many places where it can benefit from some description, the first draft is complete. The only place to go from here is the revision state.
I was in the revision zone last year with a piece I had workshopped in so many places and the result was a polished story lacking emotion. I read the manuscript myself a few days ago and was impressed with how I crafted my tale but as for impact, there was none.
With this story, I can build on it without making my message saccharine but truthful and honest. My goal is to put myself entirely on the page, which I was unable to do with my piece for MFA applications.
I have officially decided to put aside applying for an MFA degree this year; I’m having too much fun writing both creative non-fiction and fiction to worry about application deadlines. The good news is I can attend university open houses and start saving for school when I apply for 2012. Seems so far away but time will fly.
I’m focusing all my energy on my craft and also running, but that’s another entry (when I finish Marukami’s book) so I will be busy this fall.
How’s everyone about to apply this round doing? Psyched? Scared? Who’s taken the GRE? I’m so glad I never have to take that test again!
My reading habits have changed recently. I’m not sure if it’s the change of my living situation, taking my writing seriously, or the fact that I’m applying to obtain my MFA degree for the second time around that’s been a direct result of reading more.
I do more reading at home now. Before, I’d only read on the commute into Manhattan. Now, I read prior to going to sleep as well as on the train. I read before bedtime that last year but then I got busy or I was wasting time on the Internet.
I’m on roll this year as well – reading and writing different genres. Could this be what grad school is all about? I shall see!
What kind of reading habits do ya’ll have?
Read a bunch of forum replies on the Poets and Writer’s Speakeasy Forum about MFA programs and the responses have rejuvenated my interest in applying.
I don’t know; there’s something magical, fun, and enchanting about sitting in a room with your peers who love writing and reading as much as you do. It’s like when you connect with someone who is as passionate about the genre of films you’re interested in. I don’t know how it’ll be second time around but I am excited to be applying again. This time, no anxiety – just anticipation for the best.
What does this even mean, really? And how much does this matter in my application for graduate school? If my writing is solid and my personal statement is iffy, will they not accept me because of that?
I have not started any personal statement/statement of purpose. I have an idea about what I’ll be writing but I have not settled on anything yet. I might write about this blog but am unsure how I’d approach it. I don’t know if I should even mention I’m applying for the second time this year. I can’t write about how much I’ve loved writing – it’s a cliché.
What can I write about myself that I’ve learned this year? Well, something was missing from my writing, that’s for sure. I see writing and inspiration in everything. I’m more dedicated to creating and being present on the page. I’m also aware there’s resistance to move forward because I’m afraid of my own failure. I’ve procured a new set of experiences to include in my “statement of purpose” but my purpose is to write. Well then, why should I get an MFA then? I don’t really need it, do I? I’m surrounding and seeking out writers in my free time. I’m in a writing workshop that’s starting out great! What else do I need?
What will writing in that environment do for me? Challenge me in ways I can never get on my own. I’ll be surrounded by writers all the time. See? It sounds like my other personal statement. I’ll get there when I’m good and ready. I need to make my submission tight first.
I took the test last year and I don’t have to take it again this year (yay!). But I will have to pay to send these scores to the schools that want “official” test scores which will be annoying.
I have to sit down and figure that out. Hopefully only a few schools will require them. The application is all about my work anyway; screw the scores!
But alas, I will, as anyone applying to an MFA program, have to go through this process. The upside? Not studying for the GRE this fall! Yes!
February has started and will soon end in two weeks which means two things: acceptances and/or rejections.
March and April: Graduate schools have made their decisions by then and will be notifying folks of their status. Am I nervous? A little. I’ve been blogging, writing, talking, and dreaming about this for months now.
Will I go to San Francisco? New Mexico? Texas? Upstate New York? Massachusetts? Or I could be going nowhere. Which with the existence of low residency programs makes obtaining an MFA not as unobtainable. I have choices and its not the end of the world. Not that it would be if I weren’t accepted at all but there are other avenues to receive higher education. I guess I want the MFA for the experience, for the study of the craft in close quarters with folks who love writing as much as I do, and so I can have another degree because I can. Think about it. How many years ago were women not even allowed to enroll in university? The first college women were allowed to attend was in 1833 at Oberlin College in Ohio. If I have the opportunity to keep going, why not?
In the meantime, I have a memoir writing class I’m taking at Gotham until March 23rd (a day after my birthday!). Nothing like a class not in your genre to keep you busy.
I’m enjoying the class; the folks are on time and always prepared. Great feedback and kool instructor. Maybe I’ll write myself a memoir! But I’ll always be a lover of fiction fo’ life.
I finally sent out all of my applications for graduate school on Wednesday night. I spent the whole day editing personal statements. I sent some to a peer and a former teacher. I was able to bang them all out in four hours. The last hour was stuffing envelopes, printing out statements, and making sure everything was correct.
After I dropped off those applications, I felt free and ready to celebrate. Celebrate what, you ask? The end of applications! It’s the end of a stressful year full of decisions, the GRE, and writing for a group of folks that may hate my writing style. Very harrowing experience.
What can I take out of this? I learned I can do anything I want to do and that even when I feel smothered and beat down into the ground, I pick myself up off the ground and keep walking. Nothing can stop me. Even when I’m not in the best mood, I move forward; I accelerate.
I look forward to what the next year will bring and what kind of writing I’ll be doing!
Next up, a two week vacation to the Caribbean. Pretty nice for an unemployed gal like myself, right? What a wonderful way to celebrate.