a shiny new advice column for creative people

Above is a selfie from two weeks ago in the restroom of my first lesbian bar, Gingers, which is based in Brooklyn, New York.

Hey, y’all this is some very exciting news. I’m officially going to start this blog for you all! This is for anyone looking to understand how to get into creative industries.

I struggled with how to frame this blog for the past few months and I’ve settled into an advice column. The whole idea behind Be(yond) the MFA was to show that there isn’t ONE path forward in creative industries. And ultimately, I can only share what my own journey has been and the struggles I’ve faced as an entry-level writer/journalist and filmmaker trying to break in.

I have a lot to say, but very little time amongst all my commitments. So I’m trying to be cautiously optimistic and say that you’ll get around 2-3 posts from me each month with some tips, learnings, and musings as I’m stumbling around. I’ll share recommendations of who you should be reading or watching and other observations as I continue to consume media just like the rest of you all. Consider these suggestions to spark your appetite. Remember that you can’t write well if you don’t read well!

And my ultimate goal is to get all of you to understand that resources are at your disposal and that everyone seems to be making it but is also secretly struggling. Occasionally I’ll include some Q&As with industry professionals and friends who have something nice to say.

I’ll try to post jobs and other fellowship opportunities here but I would also recommend that you follow our Instagram and Twitter for those day-to-day updates at @beyondthemfa.

I really hemmed and hawed between my choices to start this platform on Substack or to keep it native to WordPress. For search engine optimization reasons, I didn’t want my newsletter to be split between the website and another subscription site. I also wanted a way for folks to easily navigate old posts by being able to see posts categorized by themes and topics.

And that’s all! I’m really not certain how this will go, I’m trying to balance two internships and a freelance career and so I’m hoping that you will be patient and forgiving as I figure out how to flesh this platform out. Sustainability is really important to me and I want to make sure that this newsletter is not only fun and useful to read, but that it won’t feel like a chore to write it on a regular basis.

Thanks again for supporting my work! This work is a one-person show with all my efforts being volunteered. Please share and recommend my blog if you find it helpful.

sending much love,

Jireh 🙂


    • I do have to credit Delia Cai’s Deez Links as an inspiration for this newsletter. I was listening to her interview on the Longform podcast as research while I was doing coverage for her newest book “Central Places” and was really intrigued by the way she had started her own blog. Besides that spark of inspiration, I definitely am loving the start of “Central Places” – it’s all about a Chinese American woman returning back to her hometown in central Illinois after escaping to New York City to reinvent herself. I highly recommend you buy it at your local bookstore or ask your library to purchase it for your community.

    • The Last of Us is an amazing piece of television cinema that is so refreshingly brilliant with its characters and plot development. While you might you’ve had enough of zombie-apocalyptic TV, this show really goes above and beyond in terms of set design and its fleshed-out worldbuilding. (That was a pun at the end haha). HBO Max is going through a lot of changes, but I’ve always felt their original content has surpassed all the other TV subscription channels. They also understand the importance of having a captive audience that is collectively processing the releases of each weekly episode rather than the short attention span of binging seasons as we often do on Netflix.

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