Sunday, August 23, 2009

The Countdown Begins!

By Casey Tolfree

With only nine days left before the beginning of the program I'm finding my brain very scattered. My writing is scattered too. I know exactly what's happening in my current chapter and yet I keep typing the wrong male leads name or I just seem to not be able to concentrate and yet I'm still writing and it's still coming out okay.

For some reason my brain has turned to the idea of finally getting a good copy of a synopsis for this YA novel I wrote a few years back. (The starting paragraphs are on my blog if you want to check it out). I think I have a more solid idea than I've ever had before. I've had a tough time working on anything related to that novel, mainly because I wrote it with my best friend and as I'm attempting to plow on to the sequel, she's not. I started the synopsis and she won't even read it. It's a difficult situation. Yet it seems to be coming together finally and not at the expense of my working novel either.

I feel like the program is not really the issue though. I am so excited to start graduate school; it is everything I've waited for a year and a half (well, minus a boyfriend but I have that now too ;) ).
I guess the real issue is the entire work situation I'm going through. I'm pretty positive that I'm keeping my job because I am scheduled to cover an event on Saturday and if I got laid off but my last day would be Friday. Fingers crossed. Bottom line is I'm tired. I want one job. I don't want to get up at 5 a.m. and not get home until 11 p.m. Add school into the issue and wham, it's enough to drive a girl crazy.

How are the rest of you employing yourselves while going to school? Any advice for defeating the overwhelming feeling that is pressing in on me? I've never been so excited and so worried at the same time.

Nine days and counting...someone save me.


  1. I am lucky enough to have a tuition waiver and a generous stipend, so I don't think I will have work at all (outside of my teaching assignments) while in my MFA. I did take out a loan for this fall to help me cover moving expenses and getting set up here in a new place, but this is the only semester I will do that.

    As far as how to handle the nerves and advice really, just keep busy, and have as much fun as you can and get to know the people in your program as much as possible.

    This is a crazy time!

  2. I don't plan on working, if anything I might pick up some freelance writing assignments online. I find online work at As far as that overwhelming feeling, well, that's probably why I'm not asleep right now. The anticipation is the worst! I have orientation tomorrow and class on Tuesday so finally starting will help. That's a long day you've got going there though!

  3. I was FT employed during the first 6 months of my MFA and it was definitely doable. Having a 9-5 job with a long commute meant I did most of my homework on the weekends or on lunch breaks.

    But your set up sounds more like my undergrad when I worked two jobs and took classes in between. Finding at least one day where I did nothing was the key to sanity :)

    You can do it!

  4. I'm looking for part-time paralegal work (I'm a lawyer. . . ). I'm worried about being able to work and do all of my school work, but I think I need the extra money. I definitely won't try to practice law and do school at the same time.

  5. How are you not working? Just wondering because I definitely have bills to pay...

  6. Hey Casey- I'm not working because of I'm on fellowship with stipend from the school. I'm also taking out financial aid this first semester to help. I'm considering a part time job in the future though.

  7. I see I see that makes more sense. I was sitting here like what am I missing out on. ;)


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