choosing writing

So, I know some of you might be wondering about why I’m choosing to go to school for writing after working so freaking hard to get into Portfolio School for design…

I’m going to start off by saying I, in no way whatsoever, regret going to portfolio school or choosing to go or think it was a mistake. In fact, I still firmly believe that going to CPS was exactly what and where I was supposed to be last year. I learned a lot, not only about design but about myself, during my 6 months as a student. Yes, I still technically have 6 months left in the program. However, had I not been a student and not been asked to leave, I would not be working the current job (that I enjoy so dearly) right now. All those things had to happen for me to be where I am now. I’m incredibly grateful and still feel indebted to those who helped me get here.

But still, why writing? Well, if you’ve known me for a while, you’ll know I love writing. Hell, even if you haven’t, on the right side of my blog I identify myself as a designer AND writer (and rock star). I’ve been keeping a journal since I can remember, and have always been writing down some sort of story (or for a short time on and off, attempting poetry) since … well, probably since elementary school?

In high school and college I focused mostly on creative nonfiction as well as journalism. I still really love CNF, particularly editorials and essays. (Yes, I was that student who was not only okay with but actually enjoyed those 10-page paper assignments.) But it was also in college that I took a creative writing class. When I got to Chicago, I started thinking of writing more… And in talking with a colleague and friend, Dani, I decided to switch focus to fiction.

I’ve since taken a workshop course in fiction at Story Studio, attended Northwestern University’s Summer Writers’ Conference, and took (for credit) a short story course from Stanford University. I’ve applied once to an MFA program (denied, obviously), and I’ve been thinking about applying again for a while… However, that’s not what I’m doing.

University of Chicago has a certificate program that actually has a short story focus–which is what I want. The two year program actually cost just slightly more than only one quarter of portfolio school. I’m in a place in my life right now where I’ve got a good job that I like, my social life isn’t booming but it’s enjoyable, and well, because it’s something that I really miss. I know I don’t need a class to write, but I know workshopping will help me a lot, as well as having the accountability of a class to sort of force me to write more. Plus, it’s only one night a week. What better time than now?

Application progress (deadline: March 1):
Personal Statement: notes for the outline complete
Work Sample: I’ve picked out 4 short stories to revise/edit (thanks to some insights from a friend