Aug 1, 2010, 11:00 PM
Post #152 of 172
Thank you, Glinda.
Re: [Glinda Bamboo] Age of students
That's what I was hoping to hear. And yes, as to the advice you mentioned, I have definitely believed that paying for an MFA, while not necessarily foolish or anything, is obviously not something I want to do if I don't have to. That's another factor in my decision to wait a bit - I'd like to get strong enough work up to earn a decent financial ride, if it is at all possible for me. I won't know if I'm good enough for that until I'm good enough for that, I suppose. I want to give myself time to get there.
Your story makes me rest a little easier. I too have a job that pays decently and I'm not keen on leaving it to stack on more debt, especially if my gut tells me I'm not completely ready while my age sometimes hollers, you'd better hurry up, my man. By the time I start a regular full-residency MFA program (if I am able or willing to do so), according to this plan I would be 39. That did bother me at one point, but increasingly it doesn't. The reasons you mentioned are what make me feel more assured - I'm reminded again and again by various situations of the cliche but easily forgettable thought that I'm more interested in creating work I feel good about than anything else, and therefore see any program as simply a boon to that cause when I'm good and ready. If I'm not more sure on my feet, it seems like an unnecessary, self-imposed hurdle, and one that puts you in danger of chasing or courting that group or mentor acceptance or validation (not that validation of some kind isn't necessary) before you've found out more about what you have to say alone in a room.
At this point, if I attend a program, it will be to polish, deepen the work, get good, constant feedback, possibly have a little "community" to share with, and maybe make some connections, etc. All of that is immensely important. I'm not at all diminishing how valuable that is. It's no small thing. But for myself, I can't see the point of attending a program to do what I know I need to do by myself - the initial heavy lifting of finding out what I can really produce if left to my own time table. As you said, I'd be doing that anyway, were I to be a full-time, publishing writer, hypothetically speaking.
Thanks for the feedback. It helps me think this through.
(This post was edited by Quixote on Aug 1, 2010, 11:04 PM)