Book Review: DIY MFA

DIY MFA: Write with Focus, Read with Purpose, Build Your Community by Gabriela Pereira

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

“The secret is to persist until everyone has given up and you’re the only one left standing.”

Gabriela Pereira

These are words inspired. DIY MFA is a great craft reference; Pereira covers the entire writing process from zero to hero. What I liked most was the additional materials, easily downloadable, which come with the book. I am a creative writing major, and I found Pereira’s insights often matched what I am taught with my degree. She compacted into less than 300 pages, my entire degree; my $60,000 education for a $13.99 book on Apple’s book store. Okay, okay, maybe not quite like that, but it does cover a great deal of what a writer must know.

Probably, my greatest gain from DIY MFA is her unique revision pyramid. In addition, I believe her subway plotting method to be revolutionary, because I think traditionally taught ‘mind mapping’ is a horrid and useless exercise. We all have our own unique preferences.

Do not let the book title fool you, for Pereira is not against MFA’s. She earned one herself. I plan to earn mine as well. However, found within these pages is invaluable material on how to navigate the writer’s challenges from ‘idea’ to ‘hiring an agent.’ If it was not for this book, despite my looming English (in creative writing) degree, I would have no clue about what happens once school is done.

This book is for the writer recently started out, but will be a great tool for even the most accomplished author. I recommend both novice and well-published writers to read DIY MFA.

Happy Writing.
W. Alexander,

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