Get the knowledge without going to college!
If I were still in school going for a MFA degree then I’d consider this book to be my student handbook
Recently, as of May 2016, I graduated with my Master’s Degree in Accounting and Finance. A huge accomplishment and solidified even further when the diploma showed up on my doorstep. It put everything in perspective but at the same time I made me crave continuing education even further. A doctorate? Maybe one day.
No, this time I was considering what I love to do more than look at spreadsheets and numbers. I wanted a degree in writing. Having never had one before, always going down the business track of life since I ventured into college years ago, I knew I couldn’t just jump into getting a MFA degree.
A Master of Fine Arts degree is what you need to be a writer. I’ve heard that a few times and I will admit, I sat around wondering the same thing. Is this really needed? Surely writers at least have a degree in Creative Writing, right? That is a start toward a MFA degree. But is it needed to become a published author? Well, this book will tell you that it is not and goes into great detail to prove its point.
Written by Gabriela Pereira, with a foreword by Jacquelyn Mitchard, diy (do it yourself ) MFA (Master of Fine Arts) explores the writer’s option to perfect their craft within 288 pages of information that proves that a MFA degree is nice to have but not necessary.
With so many how to do books on the market from how to write suspense (review on that coming later), using POV, character development etc, it’s easy to say that the author is correct. Why would you need to go through getting a MFA degree when there are so many books on the market that is just as good as racking up tuition fees.
diy MFA gives you a little bit of everything from creating compelling characters, bringing said characters to life, choosing the right POV and even how to generate ideas on demand. Having never gone the route of a MFA I can say it is refreshing to get an idea of what it would be like if I ever decided to go down that road.
However, can I say that this book can replace anyone’s idea of getting a MFA? Well, no, I can’t do that. Why? If you want to go for your MFA degree then no amount of words that I say (or type) will change your mind. Some people will want the experience, learning from someone in the front of a classroom and having that interaction that a book just cannot provide. To you who feel this way then I applaud your reserve and wish you the best in your education. diy MFA even explores this in the second chapter of the book with myths that people believe about a degree in MFA. Such myth’s such as:
- You need an MFA to Teach Writing
- The MFA is a shortcut to Getting Published
- An MFA Program will force you to make writing a priority
Without you having read (or maybe you have) the book, I can tell you the simple answer to all three of these myths is an outstanding no. However, the book goes into further detail and I would suggest you read it if you feel the answer should be yes for one or more of the above. I can tell you honestly for myself I was on board with #3 as being true. How I saw it was I’m paying money for this degree so it’s going to make me use it and make me sit down for hours on end (when I’m not doing my full-time job) and write, write, write. The book answers this by saying “If you can find time to write only by putting your life on hold and plunging into a graduate program, then your writing career isn’t going to last very long.” Now, I never figured I would put my life on hiatus but the author has a point. I am going to go 2 + years for a degree in the hopes it makes me focus more and write? Can’t I do that now? Train myself to do that now without a degree? Yes, yes I can.
I am still in the middle of completing this book so I cannot give a full review, and I’m not going to. What I want to do is review this book by chapters that inspire me and in the long run will help me improve my writing.
I obtained this book while attending the Writer’s Digest Annual Conference and it was, and continues to be, a great piece that I purchased that weekend. In no way will I say that this will completely take away the idea of going for a degree in writing. I’d be lying if I said that, however, it sure has silenced the thought for the time being. I look forward to moving forward and learning more in the weeks to come.
If you’d like to purchase this book, learn more about it or the author then click the image above and go directly to the website dedicated to diy MFA.
Have you purchased diy MFA? What did you think? Would you purchase this book if you haven’t? Do you feel a person does/doesn’t need a MFA to become a good writer? Let me know in the comments below.