I went back to school in '09, and did a ten-month program at the PA Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences. Worked Racetrack Studios real-deal gear, and came out several months ago with a degree. Great experience.
Back to my writing, though--I'm unsure. The MFA programs out there for creative writing are many, and I'm aware how good an experience they'd be. Different things make me wonder:
--Do I need to do this? I'm along well with my writing, my style, etc. I do know that reading in other areas would be very good; also very good to be in workshops, classes, etc., with a lot of diverse folk, all of whom like me want to write, and make this what we do.
--The money. Expensive programs, folks. Two years, and while many offer low residency programs, we're talking money. Could I make that back...uncertain.
I'm reading a very good book by the New York Writer's Workshop about the MFA programs; designed to give you a good look into what you'll be facing in such a program.
I enjoy it, and it is very instructive. It's also shown me I have already done a lot of this.
The latest status report from my intrepid agent, Jeanie Pentalakis shows that out of some 300 queries, examinations, etc., there have been those who at least gave it really good look. Three publishers are "reading" it. This is good news; it may take months for them to decide, and there is no guarantee that they will say yes.
Jeanie keeps working it, and I keep writing, editing, and crafting. The SDS, book 1 is her focus, and I'm on all the others to keep things up, and going the way I feel they must be.
Room for improvement? Always! I can't believe or delude myself into thinking they're ready for the NY Times Bestseller List, because they're not. They can always be better.
Add to it, I don't quit. Not on this.
I've spent part of the day researching a number of MFA programs, and those that also have teaching components. I am considering the possibility of teaching down the road. Again, different schools of thought as to how this would all work.
My dear friend and collaborator Riz works for Lesley University; she's been through the progs., taught there, directed theatre there. They have a good one, but do I need to go through this?
There is also an MFA in the world for Professional Writing, some of which I have done for years as a journalist. I know, despite all this, I've still not done that much.
I have to just keep thinking, looking into it, and finding out if I have the time, the resource and the need to do it. This is never to be taken lightly; if you've considered going back to school for a Masters, a Doctorate or anything, you can't just dive in...unless...it calls to you and grabs you by the balls.
It hasn't yet. That proves I need to consider it carefully. We'll see.
I like the thought of going back to school, and I know that I'd have a lot to deal with there, but it is an interesting challenge. But the NY Writers' book and others have cautioned me, with real justification about just picking a program.
I've gotten some good advice from friends and others; I'll see where it leads.