Dying by Delusions of Granduer in Grand Rapids writes in...
I am an engineer, so being practical is a habit I can’t seem to purge. In that context, I want to ask really how poor an idea you think it is to consider applying to a MFA program absolutely needing a career (presumably in teaching) to show for it at the end. I want to ask that so badly, knowing you may only be able to man-fact a response, one that may fully crush my passionate desires at best, though I am truly hoping you can cheerily justify those desires instead. I understand the scope of a degree program such as this. Immersion in this craft is what I want most. However, I have a wife and 2 children and all the stuffs that come with having a wife and 2 children. The career need is real. What say you, dear bus driver?
DbD, I guess I'd say that if you indeed absolutely need a career to show for it, that your chips are better placed in engineering than writing. That's probably stating the obvious, though that's about half of what I do on here.
My questions are:
1. Can you take time away from the engineering career and do the MFA?
2. Are you looking into the Low-Residency MFAs?
DbD, the whole university career issue is predicated on publication. No published book, no job at the university level. And the book is definitely not a guarantee either, it's just a ticket to the dance. And since you can't predict the future, and since there are the livelihoods of at least three other individuals at stake, that doesn't sound like a good gamble to me.
As I've said on here and in the book, the MFA is primarily an artistic degree, and it should be approached in that way. Graduates go on to a variety of careers as teachers, editors, and even agents, and a good many go on to careers not directly linked to the MFA.
I'm sure that's not the answer you were hoping for DbD, but I think it's wise to be wise when other people are counting on you financially.