Authors, this post is for you if you’re looking for writing inspiration, you need look no further than Brande’s classic Becoming a Writer.
Readers (who aren’t writers) this book might give you tips for how you can work to accomplish whatever goals you may have. Her tips actually work when applied to any task you want to accomplish, from learning coding to learning a new language.
I take notes when I read, and I found myself highlighting everything. Nearly every line of Brande’s could be a tip on a coffee mug. Every sentence is motivational while also realistic. She doesn’t promise you’ll write a best seller; she reminds you that you can write, despite every obstacle thrown in your path. It takes dedication and a willingness to do something for your own good.
I’ve been trying out Brande’s advice with varying results. When I read the book in 2018, I started getting up a bit earlier to write. Typically the first half an hour was grumbled and garbled as I struggle to wake up, but the second half hour was productive.
In the last two years, I was able to accomplish two major writing goals: to move my previous blog’s posts into Word documents to save them, and to begin an adaptation of a novel into a film.
There’s a feel-good factor in this. I now know how morning athletes feel when they’ve already run ten miles and it’s only 8 a.m. I feel the same. I wouldn’t have gotten here without Brande’s kind but forceful encouragement.
But I haven’t been able to keep it up. It’s been difficult to get up early for a few months, so instead I decided to try a different tip: to cultivate a temperament to be able to write at any time of day.
My current life demands that I focus on difficult editing tasks in the morning, moving my writing time to after lunch—when my brain is usually dead. I struggle.
Day-by-day in fifteen-minute increments, I’m getting myself to write after lunch, just snippets. It’s been two months and afternoon writing is getting much easier.
What I want to tell readers about this book is that Brande has actionable suggestions and useful advice. I recommend every writer read this book and choose one tip to work on over a few weeks. If it doesn’t work, try a different one. If nothing else, you’ll come away feeling good, and it’ll last a while, so take advantage of it to get some words down!
Why does the world need another book blog?
That’s a silly question, so I’ll skip it.
Why am I starting the book blog?
In 2019, I set my Goodreads Reading Challenge at fifty-two books. In hindsight, it was not a good idea. I was amazed that I actually could read fifty-two books in a year and amazed at how much I couldn't remember of all that I read.
Who is this blog for?
First of all, it's for me, to help me remember what I read.
Second, it's for writers, authors, and readers.
I read a lot and I wanted to find a way for authors to benefit from that. I find good examples of different aspects of the craft of writing to share from those books. That way you don't have to read the whole book (but you should!) if you 're just looking for quick examples.
Finally, this is also a blog for readers who aren't sure if a book is for them. I hope to give just enough information to help you decide to pick it up!
What kinds of books do you read?
I even read the US government’s IRS Tax Publications for heaven’s sake.
Do I have time to read another blog?
Yes, entries will be short. Nothing longer than 900 words. I know you don’t have a lot of time!
Will these be book reviews?
No. Plenty of other fine readers and book bloggers and vloggers are doing amazing jobs reviewing books. While I promise not to give away any spoilers, I’m not going to tell you what the book is about—the focus is only what I thought worth remembering.
That’s pretty subjective, isn’t it?
Yes, it is! However, in my daily life as an editor, I spend ninety percent of my time being objective, following style guides and rule books. I hope to be allowed an opinion and some feelings occasionally.
Why are there are other topics on this blog?
I don't live in a black hole and everything is connected!
Editing is my profession, so I read editing and writing books, and I'll share the ones I like.
Technically I work in publishing, a murky, mysterious field that authors and writers can benefit from knowing more about.
I like to be positive, so I'll only share good things about books I liked. All authors works hard on their books, and all take different advice and different routes. Liking a book is subjective. Just because I didn't like something doesn't mean I need to shout about it to the world.
Welcome to my bookshelves!
I read a lot and I hope to help authors with the craft of writing. I share good examples of difficult aspects of writing: point of view, narration, world building and more.
Occasionally I give editing tips and share insights from the world of publishing.
England's Queens: The Biography
Keeping Up With the Editors
Happy Birthday, Poe!
Appreciate a Dragon Day
I Was Wrong – Or What I Learned from a Year on the SYP London Committee
Shortlist of the Best Books I Read in 2020
V for Vendetta
The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle
Elizabeth of York: The First Tudor Queen
The Mandibles: A Family 2029–2047
The Diary of a Bookseller
The Dutch House
The Uncrowned Queen: The Fateful Life of Margaret Beaufort
Becoming a Writer
Things Fall Apart
Welcome to My Bookshelves!