With November recently behind us, writers across America are slumped over their keyboards, having endured another NaNoWriMo, or National Novel Writing Month, in which the name of the game is cranking out as many pages of one’s novel as possible in thirty days. Years ago when I first heard about this month of extreme page production I thought it was a fine idea. Anything that urges writers to commit themselves to their novels is a good thing, right?
Ryan Boudinot, MFA's blog
by Ryan Boudinot
It’s late 2012, and the long-promised death of print (predicted somewhere on a Mayan calendar, I’m told), has yet to happen. I live in Seattle, birthplace of Amazon and the Kindle (full disclosure: I worked for Amazon twice, once from 1998-2000, again from 2004-2007), and yet I still see people leaning against bus stop posts absorbed in paperbacks. I’m lucky to live in a town that boasts two large independent bookstores—Elliott Bay Book Company and University Bookstore—as well as a variety of smaller independents that cater to various neighborhoods and niche interests.
One of the wonderful things about being in an MFA program is getting assigned books one would otherwise never read. I treasure those books that I discovered only because an advisor pushed it in front of me and insisted that it would blow my mind. My attitude as a student was to seek out the most challenging, unique, and varied books I could find.