The Basic Contents of My DIY MFA
In August 2019, I wrote about beginning my MFY as a personal, home-schooled student in an article titled, “Why I’m Jumping on Homeschooling my MFA.” (Click here to read the original article.)
In the original article, I discussed why going back to college was not an option for me. I had already completed a Bachelor’s Degree, a Master’s Degree, and an Educational Specialist Degree in Administration. Far too many experiences had left a foul taste in my soul for organized education. I knew I could not keep the sarcasm from flowing when assignments seemed to be busywork. I knew I could not keep quiet when, after teaching for 34 years, I saw major flaws in the professor’s argument or information. I was not about to be confronted once again by a professor who believed that if you wanted a grade above a “B” then you had to present an argument about why you deserved the “A.”
The decision to go the do-it-yourself MFA saved me a lot of money and stress because just as I thought life was settling down, life handed me many more curveballs and obstacles than I was prepared for. Attending class would not have been an option as I was now acting as caregiver for my husband as he went through numerous health issues. Focusing on course content would have been a nightmare. Don’t get me wrong. I would have followed through, but I know my passion would not have been in it and I would have been going through the motions of being a good student because, well, I was invested in my degree.
In September 2019, I abandoned my pursuit of a Homeschooled MFA in Creative Writing, not because I was lazy or in over my head but because life decided that there was time to pursue that in the future.
In looking at what I wanted to accomplish in 2022 with my writing, I realized that in addition to working on being consistent with writing articles for this site and helping you become better writers, I needed to learn more about writing and the writing industry.
In the original article, I what I expected and what I wanted to learn. I think starting this two and a half years ago was premature. I really don’t think I was ready even though my passions were in the right place.
As I choose the direction of my do-it-yourself MFA, I find that my ongoing learning needs to be focused on the following categories:
- time management skills
- story development
- self-editing skills
- blog monetization
- business skills
I plan to complete
- the rough draft of 4 different novels that are in various stages in my files
- a short story each week
- write to a given prompt each day (these I am listing in the right sidebar of the site)
- write my morning pages each day
- write articles for Ink & Keyboard according to a set schedule and publish the monthly newsletter, as well as a weekly update note
- write articles for Woman-strong! according to a set schedule and publish the weekly newsletter
- write articles consistently for Medium.com on topics that don’t fit in Ink & Keyboard or Woman-strong!
I plan to read
- 1 business/productivity book each month
- 2 craft of writing books each month
- 2 novels each month
Too much? Not sure. Right now, six days into 2022, I’m on track.
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