ON HOW I PLAN TO IMPROVE MY WRITING…

Truth be told … the only way I think you become a Nobel prize winning author is to take Nike’s advice and well …. Just Do It!!

But while your progress, or lack there of, is easy to spot when you play any kind of sport or simply learn how to code, I’ve learned that this doesn’t necessarily apply to the art of writing.

That is why I attended “De Schrijversacademie” (which roughly translates to the Academy of writing). It definitely taught me what is considered “good writing” and how to craft your story in a fashion that might get you published. I also became the proud owner of an enormous stack of fascinating books on various aspects of writing.

My stack of Schrijversacademie books are all good at telling me what elements to apply to my writing in order to level up from mediocre to excellent. However, the most peculiar thing is that none of these books shows me how to get from A to B. At some point everybody in my class new that they had to “show and not tell”, but it took reading a book, solely on the subject of “show don’t tell”, to grasp what that truly meant and how to tackle that particular writing skill. Needles to say that in addition to books about the various aspects of writing, I have accumulated a sh*t ton of “how to” books.

However, being the proud owner of, what now can be considered, a Writing Craft Library doesn’t magically turn you into the Nobel prize winning author you crave to be. Truth be told … only the actual act of writing might (if you keep at it). That being said, for me it’s not just about putting pen to paper, I also need to develop and put my Writing Craft Library to good use. Therefore I thought it wise to pick up no less than 3 books on MFA’s in creative writing. For the record, MFA stands for Master of Fine Arts (and for me, on a more subconscious level, it stands for time consuming and very pricey).

Portable MFA in creative writing

Have you always wanted to get an MFA, but couldn’t because of the cost, time commitment, or admission requirements?

Well now you can fulfill that dream without having to devote tons of money or time. The Portable MFA gives you all of the essential information you would learn in the MFA program in one book. Covering fiction, memoirs, personal essays, magazine articles, poetry, and playwriting, this book provides you with:

  • Inspiration and tips on revision, stamina, and productivity
  • Clear instruction on the craft behind the art
  • Detailed reading lists to expand your literary horizons
  • Exercises to improve your writing endeavors

By heeding the advice in The Portable MFA, you will gain the wisdom and experience of some of today’s greatest teachers, all for just the price of a book.

Available at: Bol.com or Amazon.com

My 1st impression: Traditional and exactly what you would expect from a book about an MFA in creative writing.

MFA in a box

MFA in a Box is not a How to Write Book. It’s a Why to Write Book.” By exploring the relationships between the writer and love, grief, place, family, race and violence, Rember helps writers dive deep into their own writing. He tells them how they can breathe down there and how they can get back. “

My hope is that MFA in a Box will help writers balance the despair of writing with the joy of writing.

Available at Bol.com or Amazon.com

My 1st impression: This book seems to be more about the emotional side of the writing experience.

DIY MFA

DIY MFA is the do-it-yourself alternative to a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing. By combining the three main components of a traditional MFA–writing, reading, and community–it teaches you how to craft compelling stories, engage your readers, and publish your work.

Available at: Bol.com or Amazon.com

1st impression: A very hands on approach to an MFA program and how to put everything into practice.

As you can tell by the synopsis, all these books have a very different approach to an MFA Program and this is my main reason for … costumizing an MFA to accommodate me and my writing aspirations. I am fully aware this might not be the path to that much coveted literary prize. Nevertheless, my hope is that I get to enjoy writing and the journey of mastering the creative side to this essential life skill.

As they say “there’s more than one way to skin a cat” and if you have a made-to-measure writing improvement plan, I really would like to hear about it. No seriously, help a girl out and leave a comment.

P.S. As soon as I finish this lengthy endeavor, I will write a review to let you know if any of the aforementioned books is worth your time or money.

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