Monday, January 5, 2009

When the Student is Ready

My prayer has been answered. I've been wandering around in the dark for so long, I've grown accustomed to it - writing-wise, I mean. I haven't known what I was doing wrong or even doing right. I was just doing what felt right to me. And that doesn't good writing always make.

So, I've finally found a guide - two guides really - two mentors to show me what's what in my writing, to separate the trees from the forest and help me "find my way" out of the thicket of my own voice. I've just completed my first week of residency in my low-residency MFA program at Western CT State University. It was incredible - meeting new, young, up-and-coming writers and old, seasoned, been-there-still-doing-it writers. I attended workshops and lectures, presentations and one-on-one sessions.

If you're an aspiring writer and all you want, what you ache to do, is write, then I HIGHLY recommend this program. The faculty are down-to-earth and very generous. They are working writers, not academicians. There is very little ego there - just writers writing and wanting to help and mentor other writers. I feel like I stumbled on my Brigadoon.

Okay, slow down, enthusiastic former cultist! I still have to do the work but so far, both Don J. Snyder and Danial Asa Rose, successful and award-winning writers, have e-mailed me responses to my writing within one day of finishing the residency. If this is any indication of what the semester is going to be like, I'd better hold onto my hat. Still, I know I need to pace myself for the marathon ahead of me. This is not a sprint even though I feel like a Thoroughbred sprung out of the box. At last I have two trainers.

"When the student is ready, the teacher arrives" as the old saying goes. Last September, long before I considered entering this program, I made the following entry in my journal:

"I think I need to be shown how to write the next chapters of my life - that I need a blueprint for the journey - two experts who will guide me."

Don't ask me why I said "two experts" but I guess dreamed them into being. This, too, is grace. An answer to prayer. Thank you, God.

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