The 1000 Day MFA

The 1000 Day MFA is a do-it-yourself program for autodidacts who want to become better writers.  I found it on www.whatisplot.com and it’s based on Ray Bradbury’s advice to writers. If you’re interested in the craft of writing, I encourage you to check it out.  Over the course of 1000 days (approximately 3 years), you will:

  • Read a short story, poem and an essay everyday.
  • Read at least one book every month.
  • Write a short story every week.
  • Watch three movies a week.

I’m trying to be a better writer so I’ve been giving this a shot in 2017.  I’m busy, just like everyone else, and I don’t get through it all every day or every week but I still try. I substitute episodes of a TV show for the three movies/week requirement and sometimes I read more of one category than the other in a given week.  I figured that in a do-it-yourself program I can do-what-I-want and make it work for me.  The key is just to do as much as you can and get better. Here’s what I read and watched this week of Feb 20-26, 2017.  

Short Stories

“Ladies Lunch” by Lore Segal

“The Toughest Indian In the World” by Sherman Alexie

“A Dream of Men” by Mary Gaitskill

“The Prarie Wife” by Curtis Sittenfeld

“From the Fifteenth District” by Mavis Gallant

“Seven” by Edwidge Danticat

Poetry

If We Must Die by Claude McKay

Dreams by Langston Hughes

Dope by Amiri Baraka

We Have Been Believers by Margaret Walker

Everytime it Rains by Nikki Giovanni

Mother’s Habits by Nikki Giovanni

Essays

“Is This Hygge?” by Susanna Wolff

“Americanisms” by Adam Gopnik

Books

Between The World and Me by Tahenisi Coates

The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin

Mr. Penumbra’s 24 Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan

March Book -Three, a Graphic Novel by John Lewis

Watching

All The President’s Men (1976)

Maya Angelou: And Still I Rise (PBS)

Writing

I wrote a story called “The Rabbit Boogey-man” for Story Collider at the Atlanta Science Festival.

I’m working on a longer piece of fiction with the working title The Monster In The Mountain.  Not sure yet if it’s a novel yet.