Would you go back to school for an MFA in Creative Writing?
Business of Writing

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
  • marketing
  • publishing
  • blog monetization
  • business skills
  • technology

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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