My spiritual practice reminds me to stay present, but even the master knows when it is important to plan for the future.
I love college. It has given me so much time to work on what I am most passionate about in life. It has (literally) bought me time to write and reflect on my life. And of course, it has given me time to think about what I want to do in the future.
The future of a writer is indecisive. It doesn’t know what it wants to be. I think most writers fantasize about writing a best-seller and getting a movie deal and living in the lap of luxury like J.K. Rowling. But those writers are few and far between, and while I think we should all nurture that dream somewhere in our minds, the reality is that we should probably likely definitely have a back-up plan (a real plan).
So while I go on watering and fertilizing the dream of a best-seller in the recesses of my mind, I’m thinking about what the next step is after Chapman University. It’s been great here — I’ve been afforded so many opportunities and have connected with amazing professors. The bulk of my writing work is still a semester or two ahead of me. That makes me happy because the next phase of my life, I believe, is getting into a creative writing MFA program. I have my expectations set high. I’m looking to get into very prestigious programs that are fully-funded. Perhaps this part of dreaming is just as radical as dreaming about the best-seller. But I am a believer in manifestation, and my spiritual practice keeps me confident that we create our realities, and so I have never ceased to give up on any of my dreams.
An MFA program, like an undergrad program, buys me more time as a writer. Two to three solid years dedicated to my writing, as well as opportunities for teaching and publishing. This could be a foot in the door, so to speak, and I think it’s a natural progression for someone like me who has dedicated his undergraduate career to studying writing. It’s not like there are hundreds of companies looking for eager BFA-holders to join their forces. So I must keep nurturing my dream, my talent, and an MFA program will help me do that.
I expect that even with the MFA, I will be in a similar place as I am after graduating with a BFA. A little bit wiser, a little less hair, and maybe even a few wrinkles and gray hairs to boot. If everything goes well, that little seed of a dream I planted will hopefully have taken root, and I can continue to nurture it until it blooms into the reality I’ve imagined in my head.
What it comes down to is this: most writers stop writing after they receive their undergrad or grad school degrees. That’s just statistics. Maybe they get caught up in their jobs. Maybe they can’t handle all of the rejection. You’ve gotta be tough if you’re to face off with the contemporary literary machine. And all of that’s fine, if you’re okay with living without writing. For me, it’s not something I do just to pass the time, it’s something I do because my time here on Earth depends on it. I was born to do this.
I won’t be giving up any time soon.