Monday, February 16, 2009

Grad programs

I think the most difficult thing about writing while in a grad program, or even undergrad, is actually getting writing done. Okay, getting good writing done. Good writing takes time. It's not time in the conventional sense of hours and minutes, but time in terms of being able to delve deeply and explore the material fully. I think most writing in academic programs is of the drive-by variety. Quick bursts to have something to turn in rather than sustained efforts to go as deeply into a particular story as possible.

In my undergraduate program, which was all workshops, we were required to produce one NEW story every five weeks. That means, basically, no time to rewrite, no going deeper into a story to find its particular truth, no getting to know the characters. In my grad program, although it has an emphasis on creative process classes rather than workshops, I still find the same pump-and-dump mentality because we are required to produce so much so quickly in order to fulfill the requirements of a class.

This isn't really a complaint. More of an observation as I work on a story for my workshop class, develop (quickly) a piece for my playwriting class, and continue work on Choice.

On the one hand, it stops the procrastination because it prevents analysis paralysis on any given work. But on the other, it also keeps the work from developing fully before it's given out for review.

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