"Write your story as it needs to be written. Write it honestly, and tell it as best you can. I'm not sure that there are any other rules. Not ones that matter." - Neil Gaiman
I've known I've wanted to be a writer since I was 7 years old. But I've come a long way from printing homemade comics and magazines on my mom's photocopier in the basement.
I graduated from Ithaca College in May 2013 with a Bachelor of Arts in Writing. After a brief summer stint of restocking shelves and recommending books to beachgoers at Barnes & Noble, I landed my first gig in educational publishing in September. I then spent several years in the field, working in marketing, editorial, and content development capacities at two large, multinational publishers, gaining industry perspective and sharpening my editorial sensibilities. But, most importantly, I learned much more about my own professional goals, needs, and desires.
I've learned to be my own best advocate and a more balanced "self-critic."
I've learned that I'm less concerned with assets and monetary prospects, and more-so driven by the potential for facilitating human creativity and inquiry, and creating opportunities for learners and creatives across disciplines.
I've learned that I'm a strong team-builder, a strong team player, but I also came to understand that no one will fight harder for my own potential and new opportunities than I will.
In his hospice bed, my father told me he never understood why I didn't think I could pursue "whatever I wanted." So I went and did just that.
These goals have since led me to the University of Massachusetts, Boston, where I'm pursuing my Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing. I'm excited to be in the classroom, teaching Composition I as an English Dept. Teaching Fellow and working on my thesis, a novel in short stories. My expertise in language and rhetorical thinking has also opened up opportunities to collaborate with data curators at Spotify, as well as academic coaches and writing centers in the Greater Boston area. In honor of my dad, I volunteer with the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network; as the affiliate's Media Chair, I pursue and share human interest stories about pancreatic cancer research, advocacy, and care. I've been to Capitol Hill in D.C. twice, spoken to Senators and state representatives and their staff, and raise my voice for patients and their families.
So when asked "What will [I] do with a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing?" I tell them that I will do whatever I set my mind to. I will continue to pursue that which drives creativity, enables human expression, and fosters others' personal and professional goals and desires.
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