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Saturday, July 24, 2010

DIY MFA: The Ideal Candidate

Last week I started writing about this idea of a DIY MFA.  As I gear up for my super-secret, super-exciting fall surprise, I wanted to talk about who would be the perfect candidate for the DIY MFA.

Qualities Necessary for the DIY MFA
  • Be a Self-Starter:  To follow a plan like this on your own, you need to be the sort of writer who can motivate yourself and keep yourself going.  While it's great to ruminate and let the muses work their magic, a DIY MFA doesn't do itself.  You need to be good at pushing yourself because no one will be there to do it for you.
  • Honor Self-Imposed Deadlines:  Nothing imposes a healthy dose of fear in a writer like a deadline.  Problem is, you won't have class deadlines to motivate you so you need to be good at scaring yourself into getting the work done.  Self-imposed deadlines are very easy to ignore because no one is there to tell you your work is overdue.  You need to come up with ways of giving your self-imposed deadlines enough weight that you get the work done.
  • Reach Out:  Writers need support from other writers.  Conferences and readings are great places to meet other aspiring writers, so don't be afraid to approach other writers and speak to people.  If you're shy about meeting people in person, start with reaching out to other writers via blogs, twitter or online writing networks.
Think you've got what it takes to do a DIY MFA?  In the fall we'll be doing DIY MFA extravaganza with weekly themes, a twitter chat and a daily plan to help you set up your very own DIY MFA.  Stay tuned for more about the DIY MFA and in the meantime, feel free to share your thoughts below or tweet your comments using the #diymfa hashtag.

    4 comments:

    Michelle Davidson Argyle said...

    This is so interesting! I'm definitely all ears, and I think I have all those qualities. :)

    gabi said...

    You know, it's occurred to me that a lot of the same qualities necessary for a DIY MFA are also qualities that one would need to be a good writer. After all, writing is all about being self-motivated, sticking to deadlines and putting yourself (or your work) out there. So convenient that the qualities overlap. :)

    Dave Symonds said...

    If you need a DIY MFA guinea pig, I'd be more than happy to do it. Sounds like an awesome idea.

    Shaddy said...

    I'm soaking up the concept like a sponge.

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