Thursday, June 21, 2012

Nothing that is worth knowing can be taught. {Oscar Wilde}

Learning is exhausting. 
On the first day of orientation into my MFA Creative Writing program, they gave us a short speech about taking care of our mental and physical health during our first 10 day residency.
They encouraged us to take breaks, to go for walks, to relax when we felt that it was needed.
And while I was glad there would be room for relaxation during the 10 day session, 
I was a bit perplexed. Seriously? It was long days of only seminars and discussions.
How tiring could that be? I thought.
I was wrong.
At the end of each day, I've been mentally and emotionally drained
I've been grumpy and stressed almost to the point that I feel like I'm getting physically ill. 
It's not that there's anything bad about the program...
in fact, I've already learned a plethora of great information about how to be a better
writer and reader and about how to take my passion for writing and turn it into a career.
It's just that there's SO much information to take in all at once.
It's literally straining my brain.
Learning is always hard, but this feels like especially tiring subject matter.
When you sit down in front of a packet full of math problems, it may take you hours to
complete all the answers (or in my case, days).
But in the end, you finish something.
You get answers.
Creative writing seminars and workshops offer a whole different type of learning, I think.
They open your mind to new ways of thinking, to new ways of approaching problems,
and they challenge the way you've always written.
So you don't leave with concrete answers.
Instead, you leave with even more questions.
At the end of the day, it's been so hard to turn my brain off.
But I'm glad for that.
Even if it's daunting right now, I'm so excited to have all of this new knowledge
stored up in my mind and I'm ready to unpack it and try using it in my own writing.
My first residency period ends this weekend
and then I'll have five months to work hard from home.
I can't wait to put my newly-opened mind to good use
revising my first novel manuscript.


  1. This is great idea, even dough it sounds "a bit tiring" I would definitely give it a try!:)
    Thank u for your comment, u have such a lovely blog as well! :)
    p.s. Loving your last look, completely adorable!:)
    Happy Tuesday!! xoxo

  2. Wow, sounds exhausting indeed. But you should be so proud of yourself for taking it on and actually doing it! Inspiring :)

  3. That does sound draining, but also fulfilling in a strange way? Don't worry, you got this!!! Just keep looking for the light at the end of the tunnel xo

  4. This is exactly why I am so bad at writing, and great at math. But you've got this and will go far with it!!

  5. I admire your dedication! Your hard work will definitely pay off. At least you will get to decide your own schedule after residency is over so you can rest your brain :) Good luck!

  6. What an awesome time! You never know how far you can go until your stretched and I know that even though it's frustrating, it has to be rewarding on so many levels.

    You are living your dream and that is one amazing accomplishment! Can't wait to hear/read more about it!!

  7. Goodness, that does sound like a lot to take in! But that's awesome you're learning so much. can't wait to read your book!

  8. that sounds so exhausting! but congrats on finishing at the end of the week.

  9. yay for new knowledge... it just hurts right now because your brain is GROWING! Soak it all up, you will find a place for the newness soon :)

  10. I've always thought emotional and mental strain are ten times as difficult as physical strain. Just thing about depression's affect on the body.

    Happy writing! :)

  11. I am a new follower and I already love your blog! What an exciting program to be involved in, I too have dreams of writing a book. Props to you for getting that ball rolling.
    I look forward to reading more about your adventures!

  12. This sounds amazing! And you sound like a really hard worker... can't wait for your first novel. How exciting!


  13. p.s. I totally know what you mean. I majored in Humanities (a combination of History, English, and Philosophy).

    My favorite classes were my Philosophy classes, but they absolutely wore me out. And they still do... years later. Mind mind is still learning from them and expanding.



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