#WriterWednesday What Your MFA Program Didn’t Tell You

Every Wednesday The Neophyte Author will share some advice on writing–this may include tips on creativity or the business side of writing. Sometimes the tips will come directly from the Neophyte Author and some weeks they will come from other authors. To launch #WriterWednesdays the Neophyte Author will be sharing some tips. 

Back in December I bumped into someone who I’d completed my MA in Creative Writing and she was overjoyed to see me and my book. Of course, she had a ton of questions about how I got from being a writer in theory to being an actual published author. It that moment I realized my writing program didn’t tell me that and I bet yours didn’t either. Now without God on my side I would still be asking the same questions she asked me to my favorite author, “just how exactly did you do that,” but here are a few things I learned along the way. 

Get Your Manuscript Together

Unless you’re a trust fund baby you didn’t invest in studying writing at this advanced level for it to sit on your thumb drive. You pursued an MFA with the hope of earning some type of money with your writing–whether it’s to studentssupplement your regular stream of revenue or as your sole stream of revenue you were hoping to earn something from workshopping all of that writing. Here’s what you need to do: 

  • Find out the requirements of your genre and make sure your work is up to snuff
  • Have your manuscript professionally edited before you think about sending it anywhere
  • Join some kind of writing community, guild, or group in your neighborhood. You’ll be connected to other writers, readers, and some places like The Center for Fiction includes access to a writing cave as part of your membership

Break Out of the Writing Cave

It’s great that you’re this deep existential thinker and your characters can transcend space and time, but…

  • You need to start promoting your work
  • You need to start learning the business (publishing, marketing, tracking sales)
  • You need to start building your brand (who are and what are your books about). Even if you have a publisher they will not come up with this stuff for you. 

These are just the basics to get you going. A starter pack in a sense. Now, talk to me–what do you need and/or want to know about writing? The Neophyte Author will do it’s best to get you some solid advice and tips. 

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