Ok, so I've made the decision. Graduate school it is. I am not so much interested in obtaining an MFA in Creative Writing (although that is the ostensible goal) as I am in having those two or three or four years of intensity. I want someone interested in my writing, even if only as a teacher paid to be so. I can handle that.
But trying to get my brain around what I have to do -- that's hard. I can't explain quite what happens. It's like I think about doing this, and a huge heavy fog crosses the landscape. I don't have a map, I don't even have a raincoat and walking shoes, so I stumble and fret, trying to find the first point toward which I should walk. I know what to do, in an abstract sense. I also know there are a million little things that must also be done, equally abstract. I fear -- yes, that's what it is -- I fear coming across one of those little things and not being able to do it, or coming to it too late, or doing the wrong little thing.
Nibbled to death by ducks. Yes, I know.
So I've broken it down and set a time limit. I bought a book for adult students returning to school to get over some of the little things. I've talked briefly to friends who've already done it (as traditional students and non-traditional). I've got a check list
1) determine what schools/programs suit me
2) figure out what I need to appy (letters of recommendation, essays, manuscripts, etc.)
4) wait anxiously
Financing and all that comes later. It's that #2 I find so problematic. I foresee winding my way through labrynthine administration rabbit warrens trying to track down bits of my past important to no one but me, but not owned by me nor available to me because time has passed since I went this way...I see having to hunt up people with the right credentials and enough positive feeling toward me to read manuscripts and write letters. I see a lot of confusion and trouble and anxiety. I'm really good at those, with my demon chorus in tow screaming epithets and enflaming my doubts and self-loathing, all the "what-ifs" and "you can'ts" piling up like logs for the fire.
I get really tired of them, that demon chorus. I've spent time and effort trying to help them find new careers (maybe in cosmetology?) or at least take vacations, all for naught. They are a dedicated bunch, my demons.
So, anyway, that's the path I've set for myself this summer. I'll use the energy of hurricane season as my personal fuel source, or something symbolic like that. And if I get lost, could someone toss me a rope?