Jan 31, 2007, 12:54 AM
Post #119 of 329
well, here's a very generalized draft. mine was shorter than some, i think. i went for 2 pages (-ish), but double-spaced. these poor people read enough. and it couldn't have been too bad... i'm in at Ohio State as of a few days ago.
Re: [Arkinese] would it help anyone
[In reply to]
hope this proves enlightening (of course, please only use this for educational purposes):
Statement of Purpose
I’ve taken a very unusual path to get to this point. In fact, for most of my life, I thought I was going to be a doctor. The passion for writing and the creative process was always with me, but growing up in a very low-income household, it seemed that salary and job-security were the most important things in a career. But medically speaking, I was miserable after just a few weeks in med school. I found myself not caring if I learned the various pathways of muscle innervation or not and I decided to leave. I tested out the job market, but I always knew I would return to writing eventually. Without sinking further into the well-worn clichés of “soul searching” and “zeal for life,” it will suffice to say that writing is my career now, it is what drives me. I used to come home from school, drop my scrubs on the floor, and turn on the television. I’d complain for hours about embryology. Now without the scrubs and smell of formaldehyde, I sit down and write; I complain about not having better sentences.
Being premed, my time for undergraduate English was limited. However, since coming to Eastern Michigan’s M.A. program, my horizons have broadened considerably. I’ve had several writing workshops and now I have a much clearer sense of the state of modern fiction. My reading list, once the sole territory of mass-market paperbacks, now includes both modernists and postmodernists. The point is exposure. That’s why I jumped at the chance to study writing in St. Petersburg, Russia, this past summer. Working with such great writers as Sam Lipsyte and George Saunders, I got to improve my own writing as well as witnessing first-hand all the amazing things fiction can do. These experiences, along with editing our graduate literary journal and in helping to establish the reading series at EMU, are just the first steps in a long process – a process that I hope continues with entrance into your M.F.A. program.
I have also spent the last two years as a graduate assistant, teaching introductory composition courses at EMU. It may be trite to say that I’ve already learned more about writing than I’ve taught, but I believe it’s true. The freshmen in my classes are so unsure of themselves, so caught up in their five-paragraph paradigms, that they fall all over themselves trying to find the secret language of good writers. In more ways than I’d like to admit, I was in a very similar situation not so long ago. And while I now recognize that no “secret decoder” exists, I believe that time spent dedicated to my writing, especially at a prestigious program like yours, will provide a measure of subtlety and craftsmanship that is the hallmark of great fiction.
I am grateful for my time in med school. There is no doubt that had I pursued my early interest in writing without trying the medical track, I would have been left wondering. Now, with an additional load of student loans and all the perspective I could hope for, I can honestly say that I know what I love. More importantly, I know what it takes to seriously pursue it. An admission to your program is the next step.