read // write: The 1001 Step MFA

There is a lot of debate over whether an MFA is worth it. The connections are surely invaluable. Spending so much time dedicated to writing and learning the craft is a boon. The debt? Not so much.


It seems anyone who earned an MFA raves about the program and how it improved their writing substantially. But due to circumstance or finances, not everyone, myself included, can go through a program. I took a look at a blogger’s proposed DIY MFA and was instantly intrigued. With some modification, I could envision myself following such a program.


Starting tomorrow, I’ll be posting my progress on the read // write DIY MFA. You’re welcome to follow along.


So what’s involved? Good question. Obviously, a lot of reading and writing. I’ll separate goals into daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly.



1. Journal. On anything, for at least fifteen minutes. Just get the words out.

2. Write a blog post. It could be a response to a poem, to an essay, or a review of a book.

3. Read a poem. Any will do.

4. Read an essay and a short story. The New Yorker is filled with fantastic ones.



1. Read one novel or nonfiction book. Try to review it.

2. Translate a poem. Play with the words and language.

3. Write a poem.



1. Read a craft book.

2. Write two short stories.



1. A large capstone project. Write a novel. Learn a language. Be creative.


Now those 1001 steps? Repeat five days a week for two hundred weeks, then repeat that as long as possible.


Let the games begin.

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