Lessons in Community, Rejection, and Doggedness: What I’m Actually Learning in an MFA Writing Program Now That I’ve Finally Gotten Around to It

On becoming a writer and a better person: “Life can have a way of catapulting us great distances only to bring us back home, bedraggled and, hopefully humbled and ready to be our true selves.”

BREVITY's Nonfiction Blog

A guest post from Samantha Claire Updegrave:

Samantha Updegrave Samantha Claire Updegrave and one of her blessed distractions

I’ve been chewing on Ryan Boudinot’s essay “Things I Can Say About MFA Writing Programs Now That I No Longer Teach in One” that ran in my (Seattle’s) local weekly, The Stranger, at the end of last month. Perhaps especially so, since I wonder (worry?) he’s trashing people like me: a late-blooming writer in her late thirties who struggles with imposter syndrome and is pursuing a low-residency MFA anyway, works an extracting full-time office day job, and is raising a five-year-old who requires health insurance, time and attention, and regular feedings.

But I’m in a split camp.

Boudinot’s piece is funny, in the way satire is funny; I get the tongue-in-cheek humor. There are points where I agree – talent is a real thing, you must actually write, writers need to be…

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