The MFA game

“Why are you applying to these programs at this point in your life? What are you hoping to gain from this experience?”

I’ve been mulling over that question all day regarding applying to MFA programs. It’s one of the questions from Tom Kealey’s book, The Creative Writing Handbook and I posted on a previous post three years ago. So as I embark on this MFA game, I struggle with this question because I’ve wanted the MFA so bad, but why?

The last time I applied to obtain my MFA, I was taking writing workshop after workshop (like now) but I wanted the schooling to be an impetus to leave NYC. Now that I’ve already left my comfort zone, that aspect is gone. Now all I want to do is be with like-minded individuals that just want to read and write all the time, which I’m doing now anyway. So in a way, I’m creating my own MFA through the UC Berkeley Extension program. Except to fulfill my career goals, receiving an MFA would be the way to go. Or even an MA. I’m still a little undecided whether I want to get an MA or MFA. I know the MFA is the terminal degree in my field and with an MA, I could potentially pursue a PHd program if I chose to do so.

I’m applying to these programs now because I feel more sure about my writing. I’m thinking about writing more than I was the last time. And what I’m hoping to gain from this experience is to find a writing community (which I’m slowly doing with these workshops and being on the committee of Lit Crawl) and mentors (got one) in the university setting.

Hmm…this feels wishy washy. I might have to sleep on this. Any thoughts on the MFA or MA? Any insight would help.



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