Surviving a Low-Residency MFA

Inspired in part by Lifehacker’s article on How To Study With A Full-time Job, I thought I’d share a little about how I’m surviving working full-time as an IT executive and studying toward an MFA in writing poetry. It’s early days — I am only a few weeks into my first semester, but I have already made it through the first residency intensive and am drawing close to the second exchange with my faculty advisor. Guess what? I’m loving it. A lot of that, however, is because I took certain steps well before the program started to make the whole experience less painful.

With the exception of times I have been really sick (since sleep is my immune system’s best friend), I have been getting up an hour early before work every day. I started this months before the MFA began, before I even knew I was accepted. This seemingly obvious exercise has helped me keep a steady focus on my writing independent of other circumstances. The catch, of course, is getting to bed early enough. But with the prospect of writing again in the morning, this little programmer-owl is has finally stopped stalling at beddy-by time. Well, mostly. Tonight’s an exception. Really.
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