I wrote about my own quandry a few months ago entitled, “Whither MFA?” –>https://orderofthegoodwrite.com/2015/03/12/whither-mfa/ I’d love to think the NYTimes (my former employer) read my blog, because their website has just published an article about the subject (Hey – a lady can dream.)
I’ve decided to say – “never say never” to an MFA. I’m always open. Yet, there have been many people in the writing world who’ve come to me and said they don’t know anyone with an MFA. Needless to say, many men and women of words weigh the pros and cons of taking two years off from a paying job and sinking almost $50,000 to further improve and enrich their writing talent.
In the end – you have a nice piece of paper to frame on your wall and credentials to add luster to your qualifications as freelance writer or coach.
Then, there are others (like me – for now) who feel their fresh, yet sometimes wobbly ability to express their experiences and subversive concepts of life are enough.
I’m on the fence. I’m open to both possibilities. But right now I’d rather use my personal experience to express my stories. Let me lead by example to help other everyday people who love to write – write.
I’ve been through the wringer of after work Non-Fiction and creative writing classes. Late evening workshops were spent with aspiring essayists who wanted to be David Sedaris, ultimately reading their work on NPR. Other writers just want to write a book about their family – to galvanize proof of their existence on this earth so their vital memories and experiences live on.
Read more literature, join book clubs, attend writing forums, participate in Goodreads boards where you analyze the basics of Jane Austin? Yes! That replenishes the font with good thought and practice.
I applaud the MFA in Creative Writing. I think it adds depth to the writing experience, allows you to think about the social aspects of your work and provides an intense connection with other writers and mentors who can boost your network and fortify your expression.
Yet, I believe you can do this yourself. Look around on Google and take a proactive approach. Volunteer at social groups. Be persistent with editors on your new ideas. Travel and explore different cultures. Join groups in person and online where you are provided with opportunities to lean forward and step into your own MFA of Writing.
The education of life can be the best diploma of all. And you can still go to your full time job and save about $50K.
Here’s that NYTimes article: