Writing classes are amazing things. I have learned so much about myself and my writing in the past six weeks. It has been an invaluable experience, and I am beyond grateful to my instructor.
That being said, I've registered to take Beginning Welsh next semester, and not the next writing class.
Why? my husband asked me. And when he did, I didn't have an answer. So I've been reflecting on it, and while I'm not sure I've settled on a great answer, I have a couple mediocre ones.
First, the requirement for these classes--ones designed by MFA students or faculty who teach MFA students--is to write literary fiction. I don't write literary fiction, and I don't feel like I've done too well at it so far. I also really like the complications of dragons or witches or extraterrestrials, or the comfort of a cozy mystery. I'm not the kind of person who has theses on life all lined up in my back pocket ready to be fictionalized. Not all literary fiction is that, I know, but I feel a great deal of pressure to write something profound that's going to change the world, but I'm not a world-changing kind of gal.
Second, you have to apply to get into the next class. This scares the toe-socks right off my overly elongated toes. Seriously, you have to write a cover letter and send in your best short fiction piece. My short fiction has mainly been limited to this class, and it's not that great. Would this be a great way to prep myself for the rejection of agent queries? Maybe, but in my mind it's not the same. The prof/MFA student teaching the course may have the office across the hall from me (I haven't researched it yet, but it is possible since we share our hallway with the English department), and I might have the reminder daily that I didn't get in. They can't tell me no unless I apply, of course, but that brings me back to #1.
Honestly, I keep asking myself if I want to push myself toward literary fiction when that's not my forte, even if I'm learning valuable things about craft and style and structure, and I keep not having a good answer. So, as of right now, I've taken the wuss-way out. I'll take more writing classes in the future, of course, but for right now I think I'm gonna take a break and try to mold and tweak the skills I've gained from this course. There's never an end to the learning, but sometimes you need to just step back and take Welsh.