Saturday, April 25, 2009

Set In My Ways

I have been writing seriously for roughly 13 years. I've attended countless conferences and workshops, I've read a bookcase full of books on writing, and I've revised and submitted, revised and submitted so many times rejection is beginning to feel normal. It's a feeling I don't like.

So, I've decided to challenge myself to improve. Starting in July, I will be attending the Vermont College of Fine Arts MFA program in Writing for Children and Young Adults. Check it out at Vermont College of Fine Arts.

I am thrilled! I am anxious. I am excited. I am scared.

I am thrilled to be accepted into a program that includes so many successful and respected writers. I hope I don't stand gaping at everyone.

I am anxious about putting my work out there where they can read and critique it. What happens if someone tells me I'm never going to make it?

I am excited for the opportunity to learn more about my craft. To take my writing to the next level and challenge myself to be the best writer I can be.

But I am most scared about living in a dorm with a roommate and having to walk down the hall to use the communal bathroom. I am a creature of habit. I have my ways. Besides, do you have any idea how many times I have to get up at night to pee? In addition, my husband tells me I snore. What happens if I snore so much my roommate can't sleep? Also, I am, probably like most writers, a bit of a loner. I like my private time. Where does one get private time when sharing a room and a bathroom? It's not even like the kids were little and you could lock yourself in the bathroom just to get away.

If a student has a medical condition they can request a private room (still with the bathroom down the hall). Do you think being a prima dona is a medical condition?

People have told me that attending Vermont has changed their lives, not just their writing. I don't mean to be cynical, but sharing a bathroom is definitely going to change my life!

Seriously, though, I am excited to be starting this new phase in my life and I hope my stubborn prima dona self learns as much as my writing self.


  1. Wow,meg. Good for you! can't wait to hear all about it!

  2. Meg: Congrats on your acceptance! What a wonderful program. I hope you will blog (and twitter?) all about it. I also hope your roommate has earplugs. :-)

  3. Wait--you get to lock the door to the bathroom and keep the kids out? My daughter stands in front of me and says, "let me see!"

    Congrats on your acceptance. It sounds like it's going to be an awesome experience. I'm excited for you!

  4. Good for you! You won't be sorry. Vermont College will change both your life and your writing. You'll be amazed at the supportive atmosphere it is, too. As for the dorm, it's not as awkward as you may think. In my class of 18 - of whom 15 were women - wonderful and lasting friendships were born out of that experience. I'll be there in July as a GA. Introduce yourself. If you have any questions, feel free to email me. It'll be fun to meet you. I admire your blog.

  5. P.S. That's Stephanie Greene, btw.

  6. Corey and J.L. Thank you for your congratulatory wishes. I will definitely be blogging about my experiences - not twittering, since I'm not sure what that is.

    Amber, I didn't "lock" the door, but they somehow learned that the bathroom was sacrosanct. Nothing else was but....

    Stephanie - I look forward to meeting you. I am really excited.

  7. You go for it, Meg. I'm just finishing up auditing a creative writing class at the local university and it's been a WONDERFUL experience. The best advise I can give you is to...HAVE FUN!

  8. Meg: First off, I am very happy for you, Very jealous, too. And this post made me laugh out loud. I am so with you on the roommate thing. Maybe bring some ear plugs as a welcome roomie gift?

  9. I'm SO happy for you. The Vermont program sounds excellent and I'm sure you will overcome the bathroom-down-the-hall problem. Look at it this way - you'll have a longer walk, so you'll have more time to ponder those great writing ideas that spring to mind in the night:-)

  10. Bish - Thanks for your good wishes. I am looking forward to the experience - and at least no one is expecting me to fish!

    J.A. - I like the ear plugs idea.

    Gale - I'll have a longer walk down to the bathroom, but I won't be able to have those long spells of pondering in the shower like I do at home. Oh, well.

  11. Meg,

    1. I'm tres jealous and feel better for admitting that but at the same time am more excited for you and this well deserved acceptance. What an awesome opportunity!!

    2. Just remember that we used to share Tuscan fries at Soho33 when you win your Newberry. :)

    Snoring, hah! You remember my conference roomate story, right? (my roomie who woke up, pointed over to me and "saw" spiders falling from the ceiling above my bed and me letting loose with a blood curtling scream?*) Can't get any odder than that, lol. So just go with it, everyone is weird, quirky and has something in their closet they'd rather throw a coat over than bring out.

    *this waking up and screaming incident lead to a lenghty conversation which I began by saying after my very embarrassed roomie apologized..."No apology necessary, I always see things in my sleep too, don't sweat it"

  12. Meg, you're going to do great. Having been through it, here's a little advice - the dorms are toasty so bring some mid-weight pajamas, flip-flops in the showers and a little robe. As far as peeing, bring your key with you. I locked myself out a few times and had to wake my roommate up to let me in. She was a sweetheart though (we roomed all five times together). BTW, she snored. I didn't. So there was the tradeoff.

    As for your writing... You are more than ready girl!

  13. Oh great! Robin, I'd forgotten your roommate story - thanks for the reminder. And, Toni, NOW I'm going to worry about locking myself out of the room at 2 AM, 4 AM and 6! This is getting better all the time.

    Seriously, I will cope. I will cope. I will cope.

  14. Wow, congratulations on this! And just think: if you do have interesting roommate stories, they'll just give you more fodder for writing.

    My husband tells me I 'breathe deeply' too, but unlike him, I've never woken myself up doing this. Plus, my kids swear that he's louder. If you're going to go for earplugs as a gift for your roommate, get the pale pink wax ones. They work.

  15. Mary, thanks for the ear plug tip. I am not sure that I truly snore, I think I'm just breathing. Although if I were to play True Confessions, I have woken myself up once or twice so maybe it's more than just breathing.