on Jane Friedman site:
The pros and cons of an MFA (Master of Fine Arts) in creative writing are widely debated: on one hand, such programs offer students the opportunity to work with accomplished authors, whose expertise (and endorsements) could make all the difference in publishing their first book. On the other hand, such programs often come with a hefty price tag, with fully funded options few and far between.
But regardless of whether you go for an MFA, some things are critical to establishing a career as an author that you probably don’t know, unless you’ve learned them the hard way (or you’ve worked in publishing).
I say this as someone who went for an MFA and then went on to establish a career as both an author and an editor. And this is information I want to circulate widely—first, because I know how hard it is to have all the education in the world and still feel like you have no idea what you’re doing, and second, because until you really know what you’re dealing with in this industry, it’s easy to find yourself paralyzed by self-doubt, second guessing yourself and your work ad infinitum.
Writing takes grit, and so does publishing. Both are easier if you understand what you’re up against. Here are three publishing “secrets” I think everyone should know.