When the summer comes to a close, many of us will start to think about getting back into that grind, whether it be in our place of work or at school. For the writers in the house, you will get another push with the actionable resources in this month You Gotta Love This Writing with Gabriela Pereira.
Gabriela Pereira is the right person to give us writing advice on being the best we can, wherever we may be! She is the founder of DIY MFA, which aims to empower artists, writers, and other creatives through the use of helpful advice and a community of others who are just as dedicated to their work as you are yourself.
Along with DIY MFA, Gabriela is a successful author, speaker, and podcaster. Talk about a real entrepreneur! If you’re looking for more resources to put in your writing toolbelt, look no further. Gabriela has saved the day.
Below, written in her own words, she describes some of the writing resources she uses regularly to help her be the best creative she can be!
Here is Gabriela in her own words…
1. DIY MFA
DIY MFA is the do-it-yourself alternative to an MFA in writing. We help writers get the “knowledge without the college.” This program features a free Starter Kit and the podcast DIY MFA Radio, where I speak with authors and industry professionals about the craft of writing.
We also offer courses and a soon-to-be-released membership site, but I always encourage writers to get to know DIY MFA via the Starter Kit and the podcast first.
2. Writing Excuses
The Writing Excuses podcast is one of my favorite things to listen to when I’m on-the-go. The episodes are short and sweet, which makes them perfect for almost any length commute.
This show is like being a fly on the wall, listening to a group of awesome writers dish about the craft. This show is the podcast equivalent of hanging out at a coffee shop with your literary besties.
While this website offers tons of resources, my favorite part about it is the ProBlogger podcast. The host, Darren Rowse, breaks concepts down into bite-sized chunks, and while blogging is an ever-evolving medium, you’ll find valuable gems in the archive as well, especially as it relates to more evergreen topics like writing how-tos or reader engagement.
For many writers, social media can feel like an extraordinary time sucker. This is why I am such a huge fan of Buffer. This tool allows you to schedule social media posts for sharing across all the major networks: Twitter, Facebook (pages and groups only), LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Instagram. As you browse the web from your computer or mobile device, just click the Buffer button and you can pop the link right into your social-sharing queue.
From your Buffer dashboard you can switch the order of your posts, customize the text and add custom images. Buffer also offers analytics on posts you share through it, so you can spot your most engaging posts and double down on what works best.
A little over two years ago, I switched my email list to ConvertKit and I haven’t looked back. The robust functions baked into this system make are on par with fancy CRMs, but without that steep learning curve or heavy price tag. My favorite features are the automations (which are phenomenal) and the hosted landing pages.
I love that ConvertKit is constantly improving its service and adding new features. Often I’ll think, “Wow I really wish I could do _____ with ConvertKit”, and lo and behold, a month later, they add that feature. It’s like they read my mind!
For folks who want to start a podcast or simply want to host audio on their website, Libsyn is the way to go. It’s what we use to host DIY MFA Radio and it seamlessly syndicates audio to iTunes, Google Play, and the other major outlets. You can opt for different plans depending on how much audio you need to host, and the mid-higher tiers feature powerful analytics in addition to more storage space. The customer service is quite phenomenal, and they often go above and beyond.
I love writing in Scrivener. I love that you can toggle between different parts of your document quickly, instead of having to keep multiple Word documents or Google docs open at once. The index card feature is great because it allows me to see large swaths of a writing project at one glance. My one caveat is that it does have a little bit of a learning curve and it’s easy to get distracted by all the fancy templates and color-coding features. I’ve opted to avoid using all the Scrivener bells and whistles in my writing projects precisely because if I start down that rabbit hole, I will never come back out.
Trello is great for tracking projects where components go through a preset pipeline. For example, we use Trello at DIY MFA to keep track of where different podcast episodes are in the production cycle. As each episode moves to the next step in the process, we move that card to the next list or “bucket.” Freelancers can use Trello for tracking different articles, or if you’re writing a book, you can use Trello to keep track of different chapters. If you have a blog, this tool is great for keeping track of various posts in your editorial calendar.
Gabriela Pereira is an author, speaker, and entrepreneur who wants to challenge the status quo of higher education. As the founder and instigator of DIYMFA.com, her mission is to empower writers, artists, and other creatives to take an entrepreneurial approach to their education and professional growth.
Gabriela earned her MFA in writing from The New School and speaks at college campuses and national conferences. She is also the host of DIY MFA Radio, a popular podcast where she interviews bestselling authors and book industry professionals. Finally, she is the author of the book DIY MFA: Write with Focus, Read with Purpose, Build Your Community.
To learn more about the series or to see what other writing resources we have featured, visit the You Gotta Love This Writing page.