Tuesday, October 4, 2011

To be, Not to Be, A Writer's Dilemma

To be educated, or not to be educated. That is my question at the moment.

I never went on with college, though getting an MA in creative writing was always in my head. The problem was time and money. And now I’m thirty-five and married, yet the thought is creeping still in my head.

I checked my options, knowing what my options were already from all the past times I’ve checked my options. Nothing changes much in the world of higher education and checking the creative writing program at the University of Maine proved again that what I knew before, I continue to know.

The problem is time and money.

The question though, most pressing at the moment, the question holding me back, is the question of benefit. Does further education get me anything at the end of the day? I suspect that it doesn’t.

Writers need to write. Writers need to find a writing community. Writers need people to look up to, to emulate, to learn from.

All of the above, I can find for free online, so what’s my problem?

What I really need to go to school for, to learn design and marketing, that requires two years of fulltime school, which means three or four years if I retain my fulltime job and so that I can afford to go to school.

Most likely, I will obsess over this for several weeks, weigh the pros and cons, and end up pushing it to the back of mind regardless of the results. As usual.

Because I am unconvinced that the money is worth the result.

Ah, there is the rub.


V.K. Scott said...

I earned my BA in English with an emphasis in Creative Writing and took a few Master's level creative writing courses as well. Though I loved the experience, and met a lot of neat people, I'm now painfully aware that I could have done much the same thing on my own. And, honestly, my writing didn't start getting better until after college, when I started doing more of two things: reading and writing. And then doing that again and again.

I'm not saying than an MFA is worthless, or that people can't benefit from it. But, personally, I'm glad I'm not saddled with even more loans than I have now.

MT Nickerson said...

Thanks V.K.

I just finished paying my loans off from my BA (same experience as you btw- concentration in creative writing, a couple masters level courses), and I'm not eager to jump back into debt, but some part of me still views college as being a sort of validation- a stamp of approval.

To be honest, though, my writing courses were all rather irritating more than illuminating. It's just a persistent idea that college is something I need. You know?

It's a feeling I know I need to shake, just like the idea of traditional publishing, I guess.