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Whittling Away

Okay, okay, okay. I'm working on the applications. Thanks for the kind words and/or kicks in the behind, whether in comments or emails.

Each of the applications has its own set of criteria. The one that's proving to be the most challenging is the personal statement for the novel-writing program (which is, in my heart, the one that seems the best fit for me).

Why would you benefit from this course?

Use this section to tell us why you wish to pursue your chosen course at XXX University. Admissions Tutors will be interested in your academic background, relevant experience, career aspirations and social and intellectual pursuits.

In two-hundred words or less.

Over the past week, I've sketched out some notes. Tried to build a compelling case on why they should bring me into the interview stage based on my little plea.

Yesterday I wrote the first 'formal' draft. It came in at just under 700 words.

Today I'm down to 306, and I'm actually fairly pleased with it. A quick reference to George Eliot's "It's never too late to be who you might have been. A brief exploration of motivation, comparing novel writing to marathon training. A comment on the joys I've found in process vs production (the head of the program used to be in the theatre and we've already had an acting vs. writing chat during an informal meeting).

It's not a bad essay, if I do say so myself. But, like my body fat, it still needs to be chopped down by a third.

That said, it will work very nicely for the application that asks for the same thing in 500 words.

Odd ... the program that makes you write a 15,000-word dissertation asks for a personal statement 2.5 times longer than one where you have to finish a 60,000-word novel.

I'll let it cook for a bit and then come back with a big red pen.

Interesting, this usually happens with Tuesday 200s. I think I have nothing to say then I end up having to prune half of the words away.