Friday, June 20, 2014

This is Not A Writing Manual

Kerri Majors
Writer's Digest Books
Reviewed by Nancy
4 out of 5 stars


Real-world writing advice, minus all the lectures.You're an aspiring writer. Maybe you've just discovered your love of words and dream of being a novelist someday. Maybe you've been filling notebooks with science-fiction stories since middle school. Maybe you're contemplating a liberal arts degree, but you don't know what the heck you're going to do with it. The last thing you need is another preachy writing manual telling you how you should write.

This book isn't a writing manual. It is a series of candid and irreverent essays on the writing life, from a writer who's lived it. Kerri Majors shares stories from her own life that offer insights on the realities all writers face: developing a writing voice, finding a real job (and yes, you do need to find one), taking criticism, getting published, and dealing with rejection.

Don't have enough time to write? Learn how to plan your days to fit it all in. Not sure how your guilty pleasures and bad habits translate into literature? Kerri explains how soap operas and eavesdropping can actually help your writing. Need a reader for your first novel? Find a writing buddy or a writing group that will support you. Nervous about submitting your first piece? Learn from Kerri's own roller coaster journey to find an agent and get published. "This Is Not a Writing Manual" is the writing memoir for young writers who want to use their talents in the real world.

My Review

I was looking for something to read in the YA section, but I wasn’t in the mood for paranormals or romances. The title and the wide-open mouth on the cover enticed me to take a closer look. Normally, I don’t read books about writing. Other than keeping a meticulous journal during my childhood and teen years, I have never done any serious writing other than what was required of me for school or work.

Writing requires time, effort, self-discipline, patience, and a thick skin. Since I’m the greatest procrastinator around and don’t deal too well with rejection, I’m not convinced that being a writer is the best use of my time. But I do love words, and I love that other people have the ability to string them together in meaningful ways that make my heart sing. Reading books makes me happy, and any book that helps young, aspiring writers gain confidence is very important.

Even though it was on the YA shelf, there are plenty of useful tips that could benefit writers of all ages. Look elsewhere if you want to learn the mechanics of writing. Kerri Majors uses personal anecdotes and solid advice to show the reader how to attain the creative life. I loved this book’s conversational tone and enjoyed reading about the author’s journey to publication.

Read this book and be the best writer you could possibly be! The world needs more writers so I can have more books to read.

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