With the rise of the creative writing MFA, it’s no secret that getting a master’s degree in creative writing can be quite the lucrative option. Between the prestige and flexibility, you might be excited about applying for a writing MFA.
But applying for a master’s degree in writing can be a lot of work. It’s not just that you have to succeed in getting into the school you apply to; you also need to learn a whole new language all while finishing your master’s work. Not an easy task for anyone.
Here’s an expertly answered question about the difference between a creative writing MFA and an MFA:
The Creative Writing MFA vs. MFA
For those considering a career in writing, it’s important to know the difference between a Creative Writing MFA and an MFA. An MFA is a Master’s of Famous Arts and a Creative Writing MFA is a Master’s of Famous Arts in Creative Writing.
The difference stems from the method of study. While you would usually attend lectures and write papers for your undergraduate and graduate studies, the MFA programs encourage you to get your master’s education through a series of workshops, critiques, and research with a mentor.
The mentor is an expert in your field who can help you identify your strengths and weaknesses as a writer, and work with you on the best way to develop your craft. The mentor is also someone who can publish your work, and act as a guiding light for your professional development.
Advantages Of A Creative Writing MFA
Aside from the financial benefit, getting an MFA in creative writing can also be an excellent choice for those seeking a unique form of education.
Unlike most MFA programs, the writing component of a Creative Writing MFA is essential and integral to the program and can’t be taken as a separate class. You must complete all five years of your program with a record of at least three successful works, in which you demonstrate your ability to master a range of technical and creative skills.
You must submit your manuscripts for criticism, and be open to revision. You’ll have to participate in group discussions, and individual mentoring through a wrap-around MFA program can also be included as part of your education.
Disadvantages Of A Creative Writing MFA
Not everyone will be able to commit the necessary time and effort to master a new language and skills needed to succeed in creative writing. This is especially relevant if you decide to specialize in only poetry. While it’s always an advantage to learn a new language, it’s not always the case that the adventure of a specialization will pay off in professional achievement.
Those who do choose to specialize in poetry might find that their mastery of a foreign language is not directly transferable to a career in writing. To maximise the benefits of a specialization, you might want to be sure that the field you chose is one that you can be successful in.
What Should You Be Aware Of As A Graduate Student?
Being a graduate student is a time of transition, both individually and collectively. You are now able to apply what you’ve learned in school, and the world of writing is your oyster.
But there are a few things you need to be aware of as a graduate student. Firstly, the whole point of a graduate education is to learn more and to become a better thinker. So you must approach your studies diligently, and complete the program in your time frame. A slow pace will not only dissuade you from applying for a writing MFA, but it might also damage your academic progress.
Secondly, you must keep your MFA graduation open to new opportunities. After you’ve finished your program, you’ll be able to appeal to an array of potential employers, who will value your skills and qualifications. However, if you become stagnant in your graduate studies, you’ll be limiting your professional development.
So always be open to new ideas and learning opportunities, and never be set in your studies. Stagnation is not in your best interests as a writer, or as a human being.
And lastly, as you transition out of your student life, be careful with your finances. Just because you’re graduating doesn’t mean that you can afford to lose your job, or suddenly become dependent on financial support from the government.
Learn to be independent and don’t be afraid to ask for help if you need it. The more you know, the more you’ll be able to handle when things don’t go your way, or when you’re in a rush to submit a piece for a deadline.