Every few years, I decide I need one.
And then change my mind. I really WANT the workshop format and the critique circle.
Can I find that outside of a univerity? Yes.
Have I? No.
The husband wants to know what it will do to HELP me.
(I need the feedback, want the workshop format and these days, adult conversation is always a plus.) Besides, I tell him, if he's hit by a bus, I can go teach classes at the college level.
(He reminds me of the great life insurance plan he has. I'm actually REALLY well set--IF he dies.) With the MFA however, I might actually be able to graduate, write AND teach--EVEN if he lives! ;)
So why have I waited this long?
A number of reasons.
A friend asked me YEARS ago whether or not I really NEEDED it--or if it was, in fact, a fancy shmancy delay tactic. (She already had her degree from Harvard and was pursuing a dual tract in medical school so ONCE in a WHILE, I listened to her!) ;)
(Of course, she was right). I STILL don't have a beautiful, polished novel sitting here so it's easier to say I need to go through an MFA program than to just sit my butt in the chair long enough to edit the crap that I DO have and craft it into something that someone not related to me might want to read. (If I edit it and/or write it for a class, I will HAVE to do it or fail.)
With a toddler at home, it's tough to write and tougher to consider going back to school. (There is a wonderful, well-known university close by who offers an MFA program). I can't pull off studying, writing AND teaching with my kids at the ages that they're at right now. The distance MFAs are calling me right now but it's hard to determine if it is because that is the right move--ore because 20 days away from my family each year sounds like THE way to get my book DONE?!
SO! My writing friends--do you have/want an MFA? Do you participate in a critique circle? I'm curious.