Hello. My name is Adrian Graham. I live in England with my wife and daughter. I write fiction, and in 2019 I completed an MA in Creative Writing at Birkbeck, University of London.
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& Notes, Etc.
Here are some thoughts on having just completed an MA in Creative Writing. The two questions people most frequently ask are, ‘Was it worth doing?’ and, ‘What was the most important thing you learned?
Yes, I do think it was worth doing.
The MA at Birkbeck is a good one and the programme of evening classes was a convenient fit for me. I did the MA as a two year part time programme — the two years slipped by very quickly.
What did I learn?
I know you probably want a satisfying one-liner, but for me it was a combination of things — and learning how to make them work together. This will probably sound incredibly vague but I’d put it down to learning how to use words with greater precision, while also being subtle, and being more ambitious with the realism of my characters and storytelling.
The year that follows on from an MA is probably just as important as the year (or two) spent on the course: ‘Which direction do I take my writing in now?’
Writing comes from within the person and a surprising amount of development as a writer, from my experience, is about self-understanding: ‘What am I trying to say with my work?’ Being honest with one’s self is integral to the process. So, the ‘right direction’ for most writers is likely to be the one that feels the most authentic to who they are as a person.