While looking for some of my favorite writing quotes I came across an old essay I wrote in the hopes of getting into an MFA program and thought I’d share it.
God damn it. I hate when a draft is returned to me decorated with different colored highlighters, red ink, smiling and frowning faces. I hate how much sweat, tears and time writing requires. Why can’t the process be simple? Why can’t I write one or two drafts then be done? Because doing that would mean mediocre work, and I’m not one to let my stories be less than I am capable.
That’s why I dedicated my life to writing. Although my main interest is in writing fantasy novels, I’ve tried my hand at poetry, flash fiction, satire, freelance blogging, news articles, promotional material and short stories and learned from each form of writing. Through poetry I learned how to give my piece rhythm. Through journalism I learned brevity. Through flash fiction I learned condensing.
I’ve studied the craft of writing to the best of my ability at this point, through various methods.
I attended conferences and writer’s events. I’ve purchased books, magazines and movies in the hopes my writing would improve. I wrote my favorite authors for advice, insight and tips. I majored in journalism, minored in English, hoping my writing would become tighter more grammatically correct and still my manuscript — the one I’ve been re-revising for years — came back to me with so many critiques? I consider ripping the novel apart, putting it through the paper shredder and deleting all my previous drafts from my computer. After all this is draft # I. J would be next.
Those not as dedicated to the craft of writing frequently tell me my writing is good, fantastic, better than they could manage. That is well and good to hear when the writer needs that confidence boost, but I know that my writing is not where I want it to be. I have not met my full potential, which is something I really want and find myself growing frustrated when I feel like I’m not making progress. After all, I labor and labor to give birth to a beautiful, perfect baby. But when I take the child in for a checkup, I find my baby deformed. So I labor again and again, performing surgery, providing inoculations to find my child healthier but still deformed.
Now I want to get an MFA in Creative Writing at a school where they’ll criticize my babies, tear them into scraps so I can only try jig sawing them together and give birth to healthier and stronger ones. They’ll poke at my work; demand a quality from me beyond my current skills. I want to attend a school so dedicated to the written word that they have a writer in residence, which provides students with different perspectives, experiences, opinions and tips. Am I crazy for wanting to attend BSU or just suicidal?
Just dedicated to my craft, I suppose.