I am looking into grad school.


Most of the major events of my life have happened by chance. I’m not complaining about that. I like my life. It suits me.

When I was considering where to attend college, a full-ride scholarship to Western Michigan University fell into my lap courtesy of the US Army. When I decided I wasn’t cut out for military service and considered switching schools to pursue a degree in camp ministry, a friend informed me that WMU had a similar degree, so I stayed. When I graduated and no longer desired a job in the leisure industry, I decided to get any job available, which led me to a local movie rental store. As I was buying a red shirt for the movie rental job, I was offered a seasonal job in the mall, which I accepted. And after deciding that I didn’t want to remain a mall worker indefinitely, I found part-time work at a bookstore, because I love books.

That was almost a decade ago, and though my role has changed over time, I’m still at that bookstore (and I still love books).

Sure, I did some things quite intentionally. I got married and started a family. My wife and I bought a house. I started writing.

But vocationally, my life has been subject to some precarious whims. And like I said, I like my life, but I’m starting to want something more.

I’m thinking about going back to school, pursuing a degree that will help me write better and maybe get me into a publishing job someday. To be specific, I’m considering an MFA (Master of Fine Arts) in creative writing (fiction and creative non-fiction).

As I may have mentioned, I love books. I love working around them and selling them and writing them, but I would like to be more involved in production of them. My Bachelor of Science in Recreation doesn’t really qualify me for that, nor does my illustrious blogging career. I am in need of some formal training.

Or, at least I think I am. There are a lot of things to consider. Will I have time? Will I be able to afford it? Will I be able to get into a good program? Do I even need an MFA to get a job in publishing?

Anyway, I have to start somewhere. If I want to advance my career, either at the bookstore or into a publishing job, I need to start being intentional. It’s time to get answers to my questions.

I’ll keep you updated.

Dear reader, do you have any thoughts about MFA programs?


3 responses to “I am looking into grad school.

  1. I can tell you that you don’t NEED an MFA to get into publishing, either as an author or in some capacity at a publishing house. However, it certainly wouldn’t hurt your prospects and would be a wonderful experience anyway.

  2. I was poking around in my editor’s personal mental space one day, asking what kind of a degree she has and if she will get a masters. She said no, it’s rarely needed in certain parts of the publishing world. Experience is the key. You might want to ask around though, because my 30-word summary of all her thoughts on the matter probably aren’t enough.

  3. Pingback: SMART Goals for the New Year | Josh Mosey | Writer·

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