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After the MFA

I talked myself into believing I needed an MFA in Creative Writing. I had wanted to get this particular master's degree since forever, like since 2004 but came up with a myriad of reasons why I couldn't or shouldn't.


  • Too busy writing,

  • Too expensive,

  • Too difficult to travel twice annually for the end and beginning in-person workshop labs.

this is me as a hamster on her wheel

All these reasons gave me cover and worked until each reason dissolved...

  • I'm always busy writing and an MFA is all about writing and reading so why not?

  • COVID opened up a host of fully online writing programs, like Lindenwood.edu, so no traveling necessary.

  • The cost per credit hour after delaying for nearly twenty years had plummeted.


So why not now? Other than because my husband is in hospice care and I'm his primary caregiver. Wait. Check that. I'm his only caregiver. But we manage, right? We have to because what other option do we have?


Fast-forward back to fifteen days ago when I finished the writing program. Fast-forward ahead to fifteen days later, to now, when all I can manage is a sense of floating. With the program under my belt, three book releases this past year and two more to come this fall, and a screenplay in the works, I have yelled, "Dibs!" on my time and designated these past couple of weeks as a much needed vacation.


Unfortunately, our brains are wired like mouse wheels. So, for me, throughout this time, I came up with several new writing project ideas, seven in-progress stories I'm working on right now. The most pressing is the screenplay. Leslie Lehr will be coaching me through the final steps of that story. I'm super excited to be working with her. If you don't know her, you should. She's incredible.


Anyway, my vacation is officially over Monday, August 1st when I jump back into the following:

  1. make a return to store business

  2. develop a short screenplay into a full-length screenplay

  3. expand a novella to a novel

  4. finish a story that was inspired in part by Big Fish by Daniel Wallace

  5. complete the first draft of a mainstream, women's fiction story, and

  6. get the bones down on a story that started with an awesome title--I need to figure out why I care about the character in this story, if I do at all.

My deadline for these five projects end at 12/31 this year. What are your writing projects for the year? I'd love to hear from you. ~Susan.