My Mission Statement

I write to serve, to unite, to educate. I write to share literature and flesh out ideas that may be of interest to others. I write to document an emotion, experience, or a blip in time. My mission is to write in such a way that the reader is reminded that we can find humor in all situations. It's one of the great blessings of life.


Monday, January 6, 2014

SHOULD YOU PURSUE An MFA in CREATIVE WRITING FOR CHILDREN? One woman's humble opinion.....

Um....yes!   YES!  YES!  YESSSSS!    Maybe I should elaborate.

I had been writing for about ten years.  By myself.  At home.  Okay, well, I had an accountability partner.  And I HAD an agent.  I published some.  I wrote a LOT.  I worked on my craft.  I didn't want to be just good enough, I thought children deserved the BEST--MY BEST.  I probably got my 10,000 hours or pretty close (see OUTLIERS by Malcolm Gladwell or just listen to the rap song...), but, like that cheeky Oliver, I wanted more.

So I nervously applied for MFAC programs.  In truth, there were only two programs in the United States that appealed to me.  So, I applied.  Did I mention the nervously part?

So let me do your arguing for you.  Here are the reasons I thought it was a bad idea:

1.  It is very expensive.
2.  I probably wouldn't get in.
3.  Even if I got in, I probably wasn't good enough.
4.  Even if they thought I was good enough, they were probably mistaken.
5.  I have four children, for Lord's sake.  I don't have TIME for that!
6.  I have four children, for Lord's sake.  I don't have the MONEY for that!
7.  I already have several degrees....including Master's....
8.  I don't need it. I have been writing for ten years!  I've read every book out there!  I've even worked my way through the book that calls itself a do-it-yourself MFA (or something like that).
9.  I should devote my time and knowledge to something that will help others, the less fortunate...or something like that...
10.  My house isn't clean enough to do anything else AT ALL!
11.  I liked being married.
12.  I was too OLD!

 I had some excellent arguments, but I said to God, "Look, if you want me to do this thing, then make it happen."  And in truth, I really, deep down, thought it was selfish.  I thought I wouldn't get in.  I prepared myself to accept reality.   I braced myself to say, "Well, I tried."

Then, I got in.

Long story short, I chose the AMAZING Hamline University's MFAC program, and it has changed my life, my writing life, and my faith walk forever.

I am absolutely certain that I am where I should be.  As I write this blog post, I am so excited to return to my second residency even though it is in Minnesota where it is sixteen below!  I can't wait to rejoin this incredible community of writers and readers and artists.  I yearn to see my brilliant and supportive mentor from this past semester who has taught me more in six months than I've learned in ten years.  I look forward to congratulating the other members of this community of have won awards, new book deals, and other accolades in the six months since we've been together.  I plan to welcome the new students with the same support and enthusiasm that enveloped me, and I will be honored to celebrate with the graduating class (including my talented buddy, Miriam--"buddy" is an official title, btw) and my soon-to-be BFF, Jane Yolen.

In short, I haven't regretted this decision for one second.  This program is bigger and better and more than all the arguments I could conjure.  Or maybe my DREAM is bigger.   But even my dream isn't too big for Hamline and its amazing faculty.

Watch out, Minnesota, wind chill and all, HERE I COME!

If anyone has any questions about the MFAC program, seriously, I would be happy to talk some sense into you, I mean, answer your questions.


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