I find myself searching the backgrounds of writers I admire for something specific. I don’t want to know about their wives and husbands and children. I don’t much care about where they grew up (unless the setting translates to their work). I’m not looking for information on book sales. I’m trying to find what life was like for these writers when they were in their MFA program — assuming they went to an MFA program, of course. But there’s rarely anything to be found.

So, I decided to do a better job of documenting my own experience.

This is not to say I expect to be a widely read, published author. I do expect to be published eventually — call it hubris if you wish — but to expect best-seller status, popularity, and people to be Googling my name is a little beyond what I think anyone should ever expect. Still, maybe one day I will be published. And maybe just one person reads something I wrote, likes it, and wants to know about my experience as a graduate student because this person is considering a graduate program his or herself. That makes it worth documenting. Plus my kids mind find this stuff interesting one day…actually, no they won’t.

I enrolled in Arcadia University’s Creative Writing Program in the Fall of 2015. I did so after obtaining a bachelor’s degree in business of all things. I did so after seven years had passed since finishing my undergraduate work. I did so because my writing had lost direction.

I’ve always been a writer. Fiction, non-ficition, journalism. Sports, technology, marketing, screenplays, short stories. But I’ve been a dabbler. To dabble is not to learn. It is to experience quickly, then get out. Dabbling is what I imagine my poor, lonely single friends do at the bars every Friday and Saturday night (I wouldn’t know — been married almost seven years, and I’ve been with my wife for nearly a decade). Dabbling seems fun at first, but it’s not for anything serious.

That’s what an MFA program is for — we’ve moved on from the relationship metaphor and back to writing, still with me?

The writing sample I sent out to programs around the country was good enough to get me into every school I applied to somehow. But even now, just a semester and a half since starting the program, when I read the sample I sent out, I’m embarrassed. So, let’s get everyone’s first question answered right now.

You learn a shit ton about writing in an MFA program.

My writing has improved, I’ve met people I’m sure I will be friends with for the rest of my life, and I’ve made connections that would never have been possible outside the program. I’ll cover my experience in the program in detail in other posts, but just know this:

It’s worth it.

via Justin Hunter http://ift.tt/1RIUq2C