There is much debate over whether doing an MFA is crucial to the experience of a writer.
There are two schools of thought (pardon the pun):
- The MFA shows a dedication to the craft and a seriousness about being a writer.
- The learning experiences of the world are of greater value than those learned in the classroom.
While the advantages to both are notable, and the combination of workshops and writerly real life experiences is ideal, the MFA is not the be-all end-all of your writing career. An MFA is expensive and often requires full-time attention leaving little time for a job or your family. However, it makes you focus and dedicate much needed time to work on your craft.
On the other hand, taking a course does not mean you are a writer. Spending money on a certificate to give you the credibility is not enough. An MFA, and any workshops you attend as a writer, should help to develop your craft not define it. Be wary of programs that offer weighty promises.
If you can buy Stephen King’s On Writing and set aside time to write daily, then all the power to you. You might get more out of that than an MFA program. Continue reading To MFA or Not to MFA, That Is The Question…