I forced myself to keep a daily/weekly goal. I *tried* to write at least 750-1000 words of fiction a day and read at least one short story, two poems, and fifty pages of something else (ranging from Richard Ford to Nietzsche) on top of the work I had to do for workshop, literature classes, and technique classes.I didn't always make it, but I really tried. And the days I didn't make it, I tried to make up for it over the next few days.I spent a lot of time in the English building or in the library. I was also too cheap to get cable. That probably helped.I just think you really have to take your time in an MFA program seriously. This might be our only opportunity to make writing and reading our primary focus. I've been trying to do this after the MFA too. Even if I can only write for an hour a day and read for only an hour a day. I think you've got to keep at it.
Daryll Lynne replies--
This sounds smart. It's the way all of us should try to spend our days. If you don't get into a serious writing and reading habit early on in your MFA career, you're not going to have it when it comes time to buckle down for the thesis, and probably not after the thesis, either. Campus and social life can offer a lot of tasty distractions to keep you from ever sitting down at the page. It is always your choice to let something interfere with your writing time. Make good choices.