Thursday, August 19, 2010

and so it begins (again)

Last night, I came home to find the latest issue of Poets & Writers in my mailbox and, as if to remind me that I had not yet accomplished any of my august writing goals, it practically screamed "MFA" from the front cover. Okay, okay. I get the hint.

This month, I am supposed to finalize the list of schools to which I plan to apply for my MFA in creative writing. If you're new to The New Me, a brief recap: I have a BA in creative writing and a Masters in Library Science. Last year, I decided to apply to creative writing programs for my MFA, which has always been a dream. I applied to four schools, was accepted to the University of North Carolina-Greensboro, but had to turn them down because they couldn't offer me any funding. They were my first choice and it was a hard decision, but as I prepare for round two of MFA applications, I'm glad things turned out the way they did. The last few months have given me a chance to reevaluate my creative and professional goals, and this time I plan to be smarter and more strategic about where I apply and what I plan to get out of the MFA experience.

This year, I'm going to apply to 10-12 schools, which is the norm (albeit an expensive norm!). I'm going to focus on schools that offer both fiction and creative nonfiction, which I think might be the direction my writing is headed. And last but certainly not least, I want a school that will give me ample teaching opportunities so that I can eventually become a professor of creative writing.

Professor? Yes, professor. You see, I've worked in academia for the last four years. I've been a library assistant, a tenure-track librarian, and now a staff member in the grants office. I love working on a college campus - the rhythms of semesters suit me, and I love being around learning, research, ideas. And while I liked being a librarian, and while I like my current job, I know that I would like being a professor more. So that's the new life plan. Get an MFA, write a book, maybe get a PhD (maybe...) and then get a job teaching students the joys and pains of the written word. Sure, this plan will take a while. Years, maybe even a decade. I'm okay with that. In fact, I'm looking forward to it.

But first, the MFA. To be continued...