First of all, don’t ask this.

There’s a level of trepidation I feel every time I tell someone I’m pursuing a graduate degree. It’s not the fact that I’m working on the degree itself, it’s the expectation of what’s to come when I tell them what, exactly, I’m pursuing. It goes something like this:

“What’s your master’s program in?”

“Creative Writing.”



“What are you going to do with a master’s degree in Creative Writing?”


The conversation sometimes ends there with the person on the other end shaking their head, left assuming I’m some sort of idiot. Why in the world would someone spend money on something as impractical as learning to write? There are so many other worthy pursuits, like learning how to Business. Am I right?

Sometimes, the conversation continues and I explain it’s not what I’ll be doing with my MFA after I graduate, it’s what I’m doing while pursuing it. I have a job, so to get a master’s degree in pursuit of work doesn’t make sense. I’m getting my degree in pursuit of personal development, in pursuit of a lifelong goal that I left buried in the bottom drawer of a dresser filled with other impractical dreams.

The three letters that come attached to my graduate degree don’t mean much. Sure, I can add it to a resume, it might help me find an agent eventually or get published. But, none of that crossed my mind when I decided to apply to MFA programs across the country. There was one thing driving that decision. A question.

Can I be a better writer?

Anyone who’s gone through a Creative Writing program knows the answer to this. Of course you can be. Writing is practice. Like medicine or law or any of the arts, it’s a never-ending pursuit of being better. So far, my MFA program has helped me get better, and it will continue doing so.

So, what am I going to do with an MFA in Creative Writing?

I’m going to keep learning. Keep getting better.

Oh, and if you’re feeling extra snarky, the next time someone asks you what you’re going to do with the degree you chose to pursue, tell them you plan to frame it.

via Justin Hunter