Why DIY Your MFA

unnamedWhat is the best way to get an education? There is a debate raging in this country about the cost and need for higher education. As one of the 8% of Americans who has a master’s degree, this is an interesting statistic. As well as the statistic that tells us only about 40% of American’s has higher learning degree such as a bachelor’s degree. I found these numbers in the U.S. Census.

There is a debate raging in this country about the cost and need for higher education. As one of the 8% of Americans who has a master’s degree, this is an interesting statistic. As well as the statistic that tells us only about 40% of American’s has higher learning degree such as a bachelor’s degree. These numbers are found in the U.S. Census.

Here is another statistic: the average student loan debt after graduation is $21,000.

Of course, many people have higher debt. For instance, the last time I looked (and it has been quite a while) law school runs over $100,000.

That’s a lot of money.

While I have the degree, I also have the debt to go with it. Was it worth it? Good question.

I don’t mean to add to the debate on higher education; I am merely attempting to talk myself out of another degree.

Yes, I said another degree, as if they grow on trees or something.

Since I’ve begun writing, I have often looked into acquiring a Master’s of Fine Arts in Writing. There is a debate in this arena also:

Does writing require higher education?

Does someone who is serious about their writing need to add that particular piece of paper to their wall?

For me, someone who would be a lifelong student if I had the ability, the debate begins and ends with cost. Remember those student loans I have? I am not willing to take on more student loan debt.

So, how do I improve my writing skills if I am not willing to go back to school?

Does learning only take place within the confines of an actual school, whether online or not?

The answer to this question is a resounding no.

I’ve attended conferences and classes in all areas of interest. I’ve learned through experience, research, and listening to other people.

Is this enough?

One of the websites I’ve come across is called DIY MFA. That’s right. Do It Yourself MFA. Such an interesting concept.

Gabriela Pereira, the originator of this idea, believes that people can duplicate the best things about the entire MFA process at a fraction of the cost.

Gabriela did achieve the coveted MFA and after evaluating her education, she decided that getting an MFA came down to three main areas of learning:

Write with focus

Read with purpose

Build your community

Each one of these things is within the control of anyone who desires to extend their learning. She even has as part of her website a DIY MFA Starter Kit, just for signing up, which I would recommend to anyone who would like to deepen their writing skills.

Gabriela has recently written a book, aptly named DIY MFA. I am excited about this for a couple of reasons. I like books. And I like having all of the information in one spot to ready when I am ready and need to.

Another reason I am so excited is that I am on her DIY MFA Street Team. As such, I will be able to read and review the book ahead of the anticipated August launch date. I will also be talking a bit about the DIY MFA process throughout the next couple of months.

As part of the Street Team, Gabriela sends out questions that we can discuss or not, as we chose to. The question I am focusing on this week is ‘Why DIY your MFA?”

I’ve already given the complicated answer. The simple answer is:

I love to learn. Anytime I am challenged with a problem, my first thought is to learn all I can about that problem. I believe too that learning happens in all arena’s of life as long as one is open to the idea.

I’m excited to journey with Gabriela and the rest of the Street Team as she achieves her own dream. This is just one more step on making my own dreams come true.

Enough is Enough


I haven’t been here for a while, and I’m not sure if I am truly back. But, I am here today with my one little word for the year.


A friend said to me that a word like ENOUGH would invite the universe to fulfill the word, good or bad.

I’m not sure I believed her.


I do now.

I’ve had enough and need a change.

At some point, we all reach this stage. In my daily work, I call this the full belly syndrome. You will recognize this from Thanksgiving dinner where that next bite into your full belly would be catastrophic leaving you few options. In my family, this would mean it’s time for a nap or a game at least until it is time for desert.

In daily life, the full belly syndrome is time for a change or a rest, just like after Thanksgiving dinner.

Making changes means different things to different people. For some, that means ending a job or a relationship. Changes can be big or small. Reaching this point may simply mean you need a break.

At this moment, taking a break means that I have run away from my day job – at least for a bit. Unfortunately, I’m not sure if it is that easy but I am attempting a staycation. The unfortunate part of this is that I have goals for my break.

Who does this?

Apparently, I do.

Mostly my break will consist of writing, both here on my blog and on my novel (formerly a novella – which appears to have metastasized). Other goals include spending time with my grand babies and organization around my house. And, if there is time, to begin making the gardens ready for planting, which won’t happen for several weeks.

This staycation is a welcome rest from the thoughts and emotions that have consumed me for the past year or more.

At least, I hope it will be a time of rest and relaxation.

Wish me luck!

Writing With a Heavy Heart


This post is a struggle to write. I wish I didn’t have to write these words at all.

Things in my life have taken an unexpected turn, and I need to make some changes. Changes I am reluctant to make.

There is a book on my shelf that talks about focusing your life on one thing. By one thing, the author means not having several projects in the works at the same time. The problem is life generally doesn’t work that way.

As regular readers of this blog know, I have several large projects in the works along with weekly posting. Combined with my day job duties, things have reached that point where I need to change some areas in my life.

I’m talking about priorities.

With everything in my life, finding balance is becoming increasingly difficult. I must make some changes.

I have decided that the first change I must make is the I must drop out of the A to Z Challenge. This makes me sad since I did enjoy it so much last year. I’ve lost the joy in blogging regularly.

I have also decided that I will be posting less. My goal has been to post 3-4 times each week. Life has been such a roller coaster that this has been difficult in the past several months. My hope is to post one time per week, even if that post is a Thought for the Day.

This schedule will be at least through the month of April and perhaps well into May. During this time, I will be focusing on my fiction as I am in the middle of drafting a novel. Writing this novel takes the remainder of my energy each evening, and there isn’t much to begin with right now.

Thank you all for reading my posts. I’ve truly appreciated all of the comments and everything I’ve learned.

This isn’t the end, just a different beginning.