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.