Novel In 6 with Columbia Writers

Recently, I joined a writing program called Novel in 6 offered by my local writing group. If you can’t tell from the name, the goal is to write a novel in six months.

We just finished the second month, and it’s been a real kick in the pants. A real wake up call about what it takes to finish this project, to be the writer I want to be. Because I’m not hitting my writing goal each week.

Continue reading “Novel In 6 with Columbia Writers”

Knowing Where You’re Headed

Snow covered road and evergreen trees

“The most beautiful part of your body / is where it’s headed.” – Ocean Vuong, “Someday I’ll Love Ocean Vuong

One of my goals for this year was to apply to graduate schools. I’ve long considered going to back to school for a Masters of Fine Arts in Creative Writing. I thought it would help me improve my craft, give me time to write, put me in touch with others in the writing community, among other things. There were a few obstacles in my way, but I was working on them. I took college classes to improve my undergraduate GPA. I produced a body of work for my portfolio. I narrowed down my program choices, then narrowed them further.

Finally, last December, DH and I sat down and review the numbers.

A budget is that magical place where dreams either hit the pavement running, or just hit the pavement. Because even at a low-residency program where I keep my day job, we were looking at a cost of $60,000. That is just not feasible, given our current financial situation.

It’s a disappointing reality to have to choose between things like “having a kid” and “buying our first house” in the next five years and furthering your education in pursuit of a dream. But ultimately, education can be postponed, whereas other goals have stricter timelines.

But these kinds of moments can have a clarifying impact, as well. It cuts away the coal to reveal the diamond truth beneath: My dream is not to get an MFA. My dream, in its clearest expression, is to have a career publishing my work. The only thing that requires is hard work, some luck, and a lot of writing. I can manage that on my own.