Mfa Creative Writing Blog 2015

Mfa Creative Writing Blog 2015-87
I’m known for being a bit eccentric in the research I do for my screenplays and books—I’ll do just about anything to get a real sense of the world I’m writing.Going back to school is just another adventure, and a great opportunity to explore the adventures of others.

I’m known for being a bit eccentric in the research I do for my screenplays and books—I’ll do just about anything to get a real sense of the world I’m writing.

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I looked around desperately for work, applied to Trader Joe’s and all the restaurants I frequented when I was a film biz exec.

I even spent two weeks driving a taxi, which was both illuminating and humiliating at the same time. I decided that I wanted to live STORY twenty-four-seven.

I managed to write twenty hours a day for fourteen days, then drove right back to the day job, “fully refreshed.” After the release of my second novel I got the opportunity to take a screenwriting assignment for a low budget film being produced by a company with a deal at Sony Studios.

It wasn’t much pay, but I figured it was enough to justify quitting the day job and writing full time.

Full Professor, Assistant Chair, Coordinator of Undergraduate Studies. In 2016 he was named a Guggenheim Fellow in Poetry.

He is the recipient of a Lannan Foundation Residency and has been a winner of the Colorado Book Award, and a finalist for The William Carlos Williams Award, and the PEN/USA Literary Award in Poetry.We sat down and asked him the hard questions…including about the spa…You worked in Hollywood for several years and you’ve published two well-received novels, so in essence you’re in the middle of the career most MFA candidates are striving toward…so what made you decide to go back to school now? In many ways I’m the MFA student’s worst nightmare.I mean, really, shouldn’t I be relaxing in some island paradise, cranking out one popular novel after another, chumming it up with the other successful novelists of our time?I think my presence in the UCR program provides a great life-lesson for the young author-to-be; that is, we write because we have to write. We don’t write to make us famous and we don’t write to support our families.I think a lot of the younger students aren’t quite aware of the fact that the coolest people they’ll ever know are the writers they’ll meet in this program and at the writers conferences they attend.I spent so much of my life feeling like an outsider, and after I was published I was introduced to a thousand other awkward outsiders who called themselves, coincidentally, writers.Now I know: people who have dedicated their lives to poetry and fiction, and for this reason write it, read it, teach it, and make lifelong friends late at night in the mountains talking about it.Most people who apply to an MFA program do so for a very simple reason: they want to become a professional writer.It kept the creditors at bay while I wrote my first novel.It took three and a half years to write that novel, hammering out pages every night, weekend, vacation, holiday and sick day available to me.

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