Writing Wednesday: Making the Most Out of My Writing MFA, Spring 2011 Semester

19 Jan

Winter break’s coming to a close, and I’m getting ready to enter my second semester of the MFA program.  I really want to get the most I can out of this semester.  Unfortunately, it seems like knowing how to get the most out of anything doesn’t usually happen until after the fact, when it’s too late, so I’ve compiled a list of tips from other writers.

While a lot of articles seem to suggest MFA students go into debt for the sake of writing, I’ve chosen to work full time in addition to doing the MFA full time.  I’m the type of person that thrives under deadlines, and if I weren’t working that wouldn’t mean that I was spending eight hours a day writing.  For me, it’s better to carve out special moments for writing.  That could mean during my lunch hour or on a night I don’t have class.  Often, it means most of Sunday.  I think, though, the greater point here is to make a practice out of writing.  Don’t keep putting it off.  Schedule specific times to write and don’t let other events (or Burn Notice–btw, check out author Tod Golderg’s blog) get in the way.

The tip in these articles about submitting struck home for me.  While I’ve always been pretty good at finding places to publish my work online, I haven’t always been as selective as I should.  One of my goals for this upcoming semester is to submit to a literary magazine.

Finding a mentor is probably the most important goal of mine for this semester.  Last semester’s workshops gave me valuable feedback that I’ve been able to work into my rewrite, but I could use some one-on-one time to really talk through some of the issues in my work.  I need to talk with someone who understands the type of writing I do and has suggestions for ways to improve my writing and where I should be publishing.

Those are my top MFA-related goals for the semester.  What are your writing goals for winter 2011?

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3 Responses to “Writing Wednesday: Making the Most Out of My Writing MFA, Spring 2011 Semester”

  1. Kristin October 10, 2011 at 4:36 pm #

    I’m currently searching for ways to get the most out of my MFA (which I just started), and I found this blog post really helpful! Now, a year in, do you have any further insights you could share?

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

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