Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Thinking about a MFA

An excerpt from an email I sent to a writing professor:

My question for you is, what is the value of an MFA? In my idealized world, the value of an MFA would include a job following graduation (either in academia or writing for almost any publication) and, hopefully, some sort of publishable work because, after all, I just spent a few years of my life honing my writing skills and I would have a marketable skill. In reality, none of that is guaranteed to happen and that concerns me. 

Why has this doubt crept into my mind? I guess I have some doubt in my writing ability. Luckily, I know I am not alone in that doubt/fear. I would venture a guess that all writers feel that way at some point or throughout their entire lives. Couple that with the Hemingway quote ("Real seriousness in regard to writing is one of two absolute necessities. The other, unfortunately, is talent.") and I don't exactly become a wellspring of hope because I know talent and fabulous prose can't necessarily be taught. 

With that said, I believe in my writing. That belief may be hanging by a thread now and forevermore, but it is there, and it is what is driving me to pursue writing in almost any manner, and more specifically, working toward an MFA. 

I recently finished reading a series of thought provoking posts at an online literary journal which attempts to qualify, define, and consider the value of getting an MFA. You can find them here , here , and here . Read them if you want, but it isn't necessary because my original question still remains, what is the value of an MFA?

1 comment:

Christopher Cocca said...

I like what Alexander Chee says about it: http://koreanish.com/2008/05/16/mfa-faqs/