Thursday, April 8, 2010

Still Waiting ...

Still no word from VCFA*. But that's OK ... now that I know I'm not the only stalker out there. (But I do feel sorry for postal workers worldwide!)

Thanks for all the encouraging words and suggestions. It's a relief to know that I'm not alone, that there are plenty of impatient writers like myself.

I'm discovering one major downside: my confidence keeps slipping lower after each disappointing trip to my mailbox. I keep questioning my writing ability and whether or not it's up to the standards of an MFA program.

No matter what, even if I don't get into VCFA, I refuse to give up. It just means I may need to take a few steps backward and work on becoming a better writer.

So, here's my question: Where do you go to improve YOUR craft? Are there any excellent books or online classes that you would recommend?

Just in case. Of course, still keep your fingers crossed for me!

*Update: The admissions counselor emailed me and said they had more applications than they'd expected, so it could be another week or two until I receive something in the mail. I guess that means I can postpone the mailbox watch for a little while.


Elana Johnson said...

I think the best thing for me was practice, practice, practice. But then again, I'm not one for craft books. Some people swear by them, but I just get bored.

I did like Sol on Writing by Sol Stein.

Hope you hear soon about your MFA program!

Matthew Rush said...

I have to admit I don't know what the VCFA is, I'll have to look it up, but I will wish you the best of luck Amy!

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Lisa and Laura said...

I think the thing that improved our writing the most was reading and just putting ourselves out there and submitting to agents. The feedback and lessons we learned through that process was invaluable.

Good luck getting into the program! We have our fingers crossed for you!

Stephanie said...

Amy Jo - email me and I'll send you the spreadsheet! stephboman @ gmail dot com

Shelley Sly said...

Still wishing you good luck getting into VCFA. I haven't taken any classes on writing outside of college, but as far as books, I really enjoyed Stephen King's "On Writing". And like Elana said, just keep practicing writing. Critiquing others' work has helped me improve my own, too.

C.A. Marshall said...

The first thing to do is to keep writing. And the second is to read everything, even stuff you don't like so you can find out WHY you don't like it. Then, as far as craft goes, there here:
that's kinda handy for those icky weird craft questions!

#167 Dad said...

Read good books and write every day. I don't recall reading anything about Hemmingway or Steinbeck attending writing seminars or reading how to books.
That's my take.

Anonymous said...

The absolute best craft book in my opinion is Writing the Breakout Novel by Donald Maass. He's a renowned agent and explains how to make your work stand out and be the best it can be. Good luck on the news department, fingers crossed for you.

Angie Paxton said...

My personal favorite is On Writing by Stephen King. Glad that the MFA program at least let you know there would be a longer than expected wait. I wish the literary agents I've queried would do something similar, but no such luck. Good luck on getting into the program!

Anonymous said...

The wait is always awful. Good luck! *crosses fingers for you*

One that I've really enjoyed is BIRD BY BIRD -- it's for the writing journey. For the craft of writing in particular, I've heard a lot of good things about is SELF-EDITING FOR FICTION WRITERS by Renni Brown and Dave King. I haven't read it cover-to-cover yet, but it's been very helpful so far!

Meghan Ward said...

Fingers crossed for VCFA! (Is that Vermont ... Fine Arts?) I really like your blog, and there are lots of MFA programs. If you don't get into one, apply to others!