In the past year, I have spent hours typing in libraries and coffee shops, hours commenting for critique groups, and hours reading blogs and SCBWI bulletins and researching publishers. I became a part-time writer, and I learned an incredible amount in the process.
I have also spent hours wondering whether or not this is how to go about ‘becoming a writer.’ Despite all I have learned, I constantly question if an MFA program would help me to learn it faster and better. I am currently taking a graduate class on writing for young readers, and while it is giving me fresh knowledge and perspectives, it is also spreading me too thin when combined with my other two critique groups. I am spending so much time learning and thinking about writing that I hardly have time to write. Perhaps the learning and thinking should come first and then be applied to the writing, but I am still convinced that doing is the best way to learn.
I would love to hear about your path to becoming a writer and your opinion on continuing education in the comments!
If you are at the same crossroads, here is a great post on the subject.
On a related note, my friend is writing a book on unschooling as an alternative to college. He is also in the process of self-publishing, and has some very interesting insights on going that route. Read about it here!