I am at this minute high in the sky on my way to Vermont for my fourth residency, about to begin my last semester at the Vermont College of Fine Arts. How fast the time has gone.
And I have loved every second of it–the residencies, the packets, the advisers, the community of writers.
In the spring of 2009 I decided to pursue my MFA in Writing because I seemed so close to something but not quite reaching it. I thought an MFA program might provide the missing ingredient.
Some people need the requirements of deadlines to sit down at their desks. Not me. I adore sitting at my desk to write. Others are looking for a community of writers. I was already in a writing group. Some people want feedback, but my writing group exchanges manuscripts four times a year. Some people just want to make writing a priority. It already was for me.
Still, I have received something that has made pursuing my MFA in Writing invaluable.
Immersion is the only way I know to describe it. An absolute dunking in all things writing all the time. Not just feedback four times a year but feedback every four weeks. Not just writing but writing about writing. And not just that but having a packet due so that even when life was full of other things and even when I was writing, I couldn’t just write–I had to produce thirty pages in three days because the other days of the month had been full of other things, which meant staying down under longer than ever before.
Last semester I wrote the best pages I’ve ever written. And I knew it.
Did I mention confidence? Pursuing my MFA in Writing at VCFA has given me confidence.
I’ll return to campus one more time in December to give a forty-five minute lecture, a reading, and to graduate.
Congratulations, Cindy! P.S. I read your thesis … finally, I know — but I think it’s great, and I’d love to talk sometime when you have a moment away from your desk!
Thanks, Annie! We’ll talk soon.
I feel like a proud mama reading this post. “Immersion” and “staying down under” to improve your craft are wonderful reasons to pursue an MFA. Why is there always controversy on whether an MFA is worthwhile? There is always more to learn, and I love that you jumped in and did it.
Proud sister, maybe? Darrelyn, you are a dear friend. I so appreciate your support.
Congratulations! It sounds like such a great experience!
Thanks, Cherry. Hope all is well with you.
Congratulations! Sounds like a great program. Enjoy catching those last days!
And you are a great walking-talking-writing-blogging advertisement for what looks like an estimable program.
Thanks so much, Richard. I appreciate your support. Last night Dan Chaon gave an amazing reading of a story forthcoming in his next book and then this morning, a wonderful Q & A about all things writing…