New Year, huh? At this moment, MFA programs are being bombarded with applications filled with unseen and unknown writers ready to take the plunge into the world of writing. Well, at least that’s what some think this MFA is about. 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.
I calculated that the majority of my choices’ deadlines are actually next year. However, I’m an early bird. Last year, I sent out all my applications around December. Additionally, I was on vacation for the majority of December so I had no choice. This time around, I’m wondering if I should take my time with my manuscript per application. I’m not applying to seven again like last year. Plus, most of them are in my city so the applications won’t take forever to reach their destination. The applications that will travel are the low residency programs I’m applying to.
I started my excel sheet for materials like in the MFA Handbook. What I don’t have are my recommenders. I have two in mind but I need to figure out how many each school wants. If it’s only two, I’m good. If I need a third, this will be difficult. I’ll make it happen somehow.
How are first, second, or third-timers handling the MFA application process now?
My day started out well enough; I took the remaining two lessons from my driving school package prior to my road test at two p.m. After a shaky ninety minutes, I waited another ninety minutes to be driven to the road test site in Astoria, Queens.
The sky turned gray and the rain drops fell as I sat behind the wheel, prepared to pass my road test. I knew as soon as I signed my shaky signature on the evaluation sheet, I was done.
I didn’t signal when turning into the lane and I frakked up my parallel parking (which I had practiced that morning like five times!) and then I didn’t signal a few more times at the end. The inspector told me I failed and I stepped out of the car, head down in disappointment. My driving instructor was so wrapped up in his possible claim to fame of being cast on a reality television show about bad drivers that I received absolutely no consoling or pep talk for the next time. I wanted to cry.
When we returned to the driving school, I immediately rescheduled a road test and scanned my brain for anyone I knew that owned a car. Not many but I’ll make do.
I walked home slowly, trying to take in the sunshine; I even shared a smile with a guy as I walked home. He returned the smile and tried to “holla” at me but I kept walking.
When I finally reached my apartment, I wrote down how I was in a state of impotence. I tacked on everything that wasn’t going right in my life to my failed road test: rejections from MFA programs, how many people were following me on Twitter (like that really counted right now but when you’re in a funk, you bring it all in), keeping up with my blog, not writing enough, not reading enough, and the emotional turmoil I’ve been in the past few months. All of this had me in the worst head space imaginable.
My brother called and some of that space cleared. I needed to hear: “Yeah, you failed but you’re driving! You’ll do better next time!” which he provided and just like that, the fog had cleared.
Soon after, I met up with a friend to watch a free screening of Dinner for Schmucks and I was in a much better place. The film was entertaining enough to forget about the early afternoon but not enough to erase the remnants of my prior head space.
When I came home, I watched the President Obama interview on The View which was the brightest thing I needed to the start of a gloomy day. My inspiration and drive were re-ignited with Obama’s hope for America. Not many people may agree with everything he’s doing with the country presently but for the moment, his words and energy reached me and I was floating in positivity. The universe was talking to me; I was seeking comfort all day after the road test and I received it.
Funny how a television program, movie, quote, or book can change the mood of a person. This is why I write.
One of my fellow intern colleagues (who I found out is currently enrolled in a MFA program at Adelphi College on the island of long) mentioned this 3 Day Contest that happens every year around Labor Day weekend.
Being a veteran of the National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) that takes place every November across the country, I had to research this contest.
I found the website and saw there was a contest fee. $50 bucks to write for three days? I’m so broke and I’m unemployed; I can’t afford $50 bucks for that. Well, then again, I did just purchase three books about writing (see? I can’t stop myself from buying books especially when I say I’m going to stop) the other day so I’m considering the contest.
There are prizes for first, second, and third place. The contest is based in Canada and you have to print out your story, send it, then you will receive a certificate stating you have completed the 3 Day Novel Contest. This is similar to NaNoWriMo where you can print out your own certificate and post a badge on any of your online websites to let people know you completed a novel in 30 days.
The more I write about this contest, the more enrolled I am in actually doing this over the course of three days. The coolest thing about this contest is you can write an outline prior to the contest so you’re not going in there crazily. Well, the point is to see where your creativity takes you with a very short outline; the possibilities are endless!
I’m not completely committing to this contest but I’m considering this seriously.
What about ya’ll? Who’s going to try this?