Mar 19, 2008, 7:28 PM
Post #301 of 793
I mean, I'd just say, if you are so worried about it work through some form texts before you get out there. There are a lot of good ones out there for poetry, and I'm sure they are out there for fiction, too. University of Chicago's series of books on publishing are a probably a good place to start. John Hopkins makes some great books to this end, too, I think (I'm only familiar with a couple of poetry-related books they put out, though). I've been doing this for a while now, and I still find it refereshing for my writing to read a poetry form book now and again--and it helps one keep up, and refine, one's sense of approaching poetry. I often find, or incorporate, new modes of reading and writing if the book is, at all, worth its salt. In fact, reading, I think, is the much harder task. To do it well, from the perspetive of the writer, that is. But, most people are going to be around the same level when entering a program, some maybe a little bit ahead, but they may be passed up. Who knows? You seem to be serious. Work at it. People work at getting better their whole lives. So, I wouldn't worry about it. Just take it serious. (My words and my balls is all I have)
Re: [jayg] Am I going crazy? Are you going with me?
[In reply to]
But, really, if you got in, you shouldn't worry about it. They think your writing is good enough to attend, so it probably isn't half bad--rather, it is good, on some points, for sure (very few, if any, people are already writing on the level of literary stars when they go into these programs... I'm talking like one or two people, maybe.) Be happy, hey, these programs liked your work and they want to work with you. Now, that is surely something to be happy about! And, sometimes, they are looking for people they can teach a bit--who really need to be out there soaking up new stuff. Who, they think will develop and blossom through being in their program.
So, I'd say, maybe grasp hold of your fear a bit and make it productive, but don't stress out about going into an MFA program. Rather, just take yourself serious all the way up until you get there. Read all the work by all the faculty at the schools you are considering, and the like. Expand your horizons, starting now. That is what we should all be doing. It is, I think, rather sad that one goes to the academy to learn how to write. As though it were an imperative to be in the academy to learn. You have the right idea. The MFA, for all of us, should just be a means to an end--experience teaching, working on journals, study work we want to study, and time to just plain write. But it is, of the utmost imperative, that we strive, I think, to write to the aesthetic that is of artistic imperative to us. So, go and find your imperative. Live it, and, don't worry so much about your compatability to the MFA. If the MFA is going to teach you, it should teach you, and not control your aesthetic. That, at least, is what I think. Also, these place, aside from the Iowas and the like (maybe iowa in perticular) aren't that harsh of environments. Some are, and if you do well in that fine, but I think, for the most part these are fine arts degrees. So, it isn't like you are competeing with the prerson right in front of you--you are just trying to better yourself in a group of people with the same goals/interests.