My personal opinions of Boudinot’s critical article of writing programs

I came upon Ryan Boudinot’s article ‘Things I Can Say About MFA Writing Programs Now That I No Longer Teach in One‘ after following a series of links. I read about the criticism he received before I actually read it. So I was biased from the beginning. People were going on about how he had to be a cruel person to write what he did, but after I read it I didn’t agree with them.

I found that the article really spoke to me. It was a dose of realism for people, who perhaps had been ignorant of what to expect when it came to the world of writing. I remember in my own creative writing course at USC (Australia) this question was posed many times.  How does a person become a creative writer? Well Boudinot answers it. You’re either born with the talent for it or not. Some people are creative in terms of words and stories, others are not. A few will be masters of it, most will either be average or give up altogether.

He states that people who are serious about writing decide early on in their lives if it’s worth pursuing or not. I wanted to write stories since I was 13 and had dabbled in it since around 11/12. And people who complain about not having the time to write are simply not creating or finding it. That is their problem.

Also, the better you are as a writer the more people will read/like you. It’s true. Furthermore once you give up insecurity of how people will look at you and your work, you will create some of your best work. Complete freedom from others gives you complete freedom to write. Which follows this next point. The old publishing model is dying and it is up to individual people to give life to their works. Don’t rely on others to carry you.

Giving myself a pep talk

There are times when I don’t feel so good about my writing despite the fact that a few days earlier I could be completely fine with it. So in the space of a few days what makes me think differently?

Doubt and fear.

  • I’m afraid at times that I won’t achieve my dreams of becoming an author, even though I want to so much.
  • I’m afraid that no matter how much effort I put into my writing, it’ll never be as good as other great pieces of writing.
  • I’m afraid that writing will always be a ‘side hobby’ that I can only do after everything else is done.
  • I’m afraid that my stories wont even live up to my own expectations or that I simply can not express them the way I want to.
  • But most of all, I’m afraid to give up on my passion and dreams as that would be the most terrible thing of all.

But no matter how much I doubt myself or am afraid of the possibilities of my own short comings I push through because I remember you can not pursue success without the possibility of encountering failure. And you can not have success if you are afraid of failure.

After I come out of these periods of doubt I see that my stories aren’t so bad and with each round of editing they are improving. Everyday I am coming closer to publishing my first novel and with the desire to match great pieces of writing I will end up publishing some great pieces of work.