How We Learn to Write 

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In the however many years I’ve been writing, there are only a few resources which have really helped me. Here are 2 of them.

Gabriela Pereira’s DYI MFA and Judy Reeves’s A Writer’s Book of Days. I’ve been working with both for about 3 months and, truthfully, I’d recommend them to writers at any level. Well, except maybe those who sell more books than the GNP of a small European country. And even then, if a prolific writer’s content has gone stale, it could be of major use.

Pereira’s book, while fast paced, is basically a MFA is short form. She breaks it all down for us and provides fantastic acronyms for certain processes. There’s even a website for readers to get some freebie info. See the brass fasteners at the pile’s bottom? That’s the biggest freebie of all. Once you buy the book – and it is totally worth it – sign-up for her newsletter and get that workbook. You won’t regret it.

Reeves’s book is organized by month, and has daily mini-prompts tucked in between anecdotes and helpful guidance. I actually started this Sept 1, but with the way my day job interfered, I decided to start fresh Jan 1 and do the whole book through til New Year’s. I’m keeping the daily prompts on my Kindle and doing them in the morning over coffee before work. As a bonus, I’m using the prompts to beef up scenarios for one of my WIPs and it’s working like a charm. At the end of the month, I’ll email them to myself and save in a master doc.

Each book is unique and each reader will take something away different than someone else. I’ve combined them to create a highly-personalized curriculum to coincide with my days off to get the most benefit from the “course” I created. It’s already making a difference in my writing. Like I said in my last post, writing will be a priority in 2017 regardless of what’s going on in my life. In a way, I’m “hacking” my writing process.

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