Here are another six reasons: six weeks. Six weeks in which you can make your writing your absolute priority. Is it hard to step away from the life you've known for that long of a time? Yes. Emotionally and financially, it is a sacrifice. But - and please forgive my bluntness - if you think that the life of a writer is not full of emotional and financial sacrifices, you are wrong. Even if you cannot go now, it is worth saving and planning for.
Here are eighteen reasons - yourself, and your classmates. You will meet amazing, wonderful, challenging people. Some of these people will become part of your chosen family. Some you will do crazy and impossible projects with - I am writing a ballet with one of my Clarionmates right now. Let me assure that this is something that had never crossed my mind to do before I went to Clarion.
And that is the other thing, the beginning of the less-obvious reasons that you should attend - you will learn so much about yourself. Perhaps one of the things that you will learn is that you are not a writer, or not someone who wants to write professionally, or at least not then. Believe me when I say that is a good thing to learn, and better to learn it in six weeks than in six months, or six years. But perhaps you will learn that you are. I did, when I was there.
Clarion is a difficult experience, sometimes. It gets called "boot camp for writers" and I think the description is apt. It can also be a trial by fire, and many other clichés. It will, in all likelihood, change the way you write, and change the way you think about writing. I applied four years ago, and applying was one of the scariest things I had ever done, until I attended.
I've written a post like this every year since I attended. I still look back and say that going to Clarion was the single best thing I have ever done for myself as a writer, and one of the best things that I've done for myself, full stop. If you want to write, I highly encourage you to apply.