MFA Nugget: The End of This Creative Road

MONTPELIER, VT: At 8:45 am I will give a one-hour lecture on creative writing craft, part of my graduation requirements in my MFA in Writing with the Vermont College of Fine Arts. Assuming that goes well, I will receive my diploma during our graduation ceremony this afternoon. At this 10-day residency, I have also given a 20-minute reading from my memoir-in-progress, read a ribald prose poem at a late-night renegade reading, and forced my classmates to listen to me sing a 2-minute song at our talent show.

In twelve hours, car packed, I will leave Montpelier.

I’ve been blogging from VCFA my last four residencies. I’ve written about my MFA journey even earlier than that, dating back to before I began the program in June of 2011. I have done this in part because many people are curious about the MFA process. I know I was. It was something I had wanted to pursue for twenty years, but I kept telling myself I couldn’t. It took two decades to stop making excuses.

This has been a life-changing experience, and I have no regrets about pursuing it. I know the next question some people will have is “How do you feel now that you have earned an MFA?” Another question is “What will you do next?” The latter one is a bit easier–continue to write and continue to live life–but the former one is more challenging. I need some perspective, some time to absorb what I have experienced the last two years.

I will return to this question at some point on this blog. It may be in a few weeks, it could be a few months. I know I’ll be mulling answers in my head with some regularity, and Artist’s Road readers know I’m not shy about mulling questions on this blog.

In the meantime, you can search for “MFA Nugget” on this blog to see what I have provided over the last two years. Thank you for reading, and for your support.

ADDENDUM: Please don’t read this post to mean this blog is going away. I’ll still be here, writing about new adventures!

About Patrick Ross

I'm the author of Committed: A Memoir of the Artist's Road.

18 Responses to “MFA Nugget: The End of This Creative Road”

  1. Congratulations, Patrick! FYI, six months out, I’m still mulling.

  2. fabulous – I have not sat down and read in depth all of your blogs, but I intend to, and I also think, hmmmm a book? best wishes; don’t disappear

  3. Don’t tell me this is goodbye… but, Patrick, we’ve just barely got to know each other. What did I do wrong? Is it me? I promise I’ll be gooder in the future, please, Patrick… don’t go!

  4. Hi all! No, this isn’t the last Artist’s Road post!🙂 Just a post on my MFA graduation coming from a place where I don’t know what to make of the whole experience. I’ll be back in a few days with a q and a with the Creative You author, and then on from there. Thanks for your support, however!

  5. Congrats. Take a break, you deserve it! But uh, where’s the YouTube vid of you singing?😛

  6. completelyinthedark Reply July 8, 2013 at 11:49 am

    Whew, thanks for the addendum, Patrick. Is it possible you’ll ever have guest bloggers? I’ve been thinking about a writing topic that really doesn’t jibe with the tone of my personal blog, CITD, and I’m starting a new WP site devoted to a serial novel, so won’t be right for that either. The topic came out of the planning I’m doing for this new site. Chiefly it involves an ah-ha moment I’ve had about why I’d felt stuck in my writing until the last 5 years. Good luck in your new adventures! Best, Mike

  7. Congratulations, Patrick!

  8. Congratulations, Patrick! If I may suggest a book: Art and Fear by David Bayles. It was recommended to me a short time before I graduated with my art degree. You may already be familiar with it. Per Amazon:

    “… This is a book written by artists, for artists -— it’s about what it feels like when artists sit down at their easel or keyboard, in their studio or performance space, trying to do the work they need to do. First published in 1994, Art & Fear quickly became an underground classic. Word-of-mouth response alone—now enhanced by internet posting—has placed it among the best-selling books on artmaking and creativity nationally.”

  9. charlotterainsdixon Reply July 19, 2013 at 12:40 pm

    Congratulations, Patrick! You’ve accomplished a huge and wonderful thing. I’ll look forward to reading your thoughts awhile from now.

    • Thanks, Charlotte. I’m still collecting them. The whole experience seems a bit surreal. You’ve stayed in touch with the writing community in Kentucky, but I don’t know when I’ll be back in Vermont. I’m back in DC in my “real life” and it almost seems like my five residencies in Vermont were some odd dream; it’s completely disconnected.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. How Does it Feel to Have Earned an MFA? | The Artist's Road - August 6, 2013

    […] wife, daughter and son in the grand chapel of College Hall at the Vermont College of Fine Arts. I blogged that day that I couldn’t really process what I was feeling: “I need some perspective, some time […]

  2. MFA Nugget: Down the Rabbit Hole | The Artist's Road - January 30, 2014

    […] College of Fine Arts MFA residencies–likely assumed there would be no more such posts after I graduated last summer. Well, I’m delighted to revive that series–for one post at least–with a guest […]

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