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Comment: This book has already been loved by someone else. It MIGHT have some wear and tear on the edges, have some markings in it, or be an ex-library book. Over-all it's still a good book at a great price! (if it is supposed to contain a CD or access code, that may be missing)
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If You Can Talk You Can Write Paperback – October 1, 1993

4.7 out of 5 stars 59 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Any book on writing that cites poet Anne Sexton and excerpts Katherine Dunn's Geek Love is off to a good start, and Saltzman delivers in a breezy tome designed to help you quit taking yourself too seriously yet be utterly true to your own voice at the same time. And when he ends with Lillian Hellman's advice to never listen to writers about writing, you know he's got it exactly right.

From Library Journal

Saltzman's book is based on his successful writing seminars of the same name. His main point is that if people would remember that writing is a form of communication, much like talking, it would not be as intimidating and therefore easier to do. The first of the five sections covers the fear of writing and how to get past internal voices that say negative things. The second covers the concept of talking on paper. Parts 3 and 4 help answer the questions, What do I write about? and, What do I do now that I have a first draft? Finally, the last part is a compilation of ideas and tricks of the trade to help the writer continue to produce. Light, humorous, and fun, the book offers anecdotal examples and reminder quizzes at the end of each section that review the main points. Useful for public libraries serving a large population of would-be writers.
- Lisa J. Cochenet, Plainfield P.L., Ill.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 190 pages
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing (October 1, 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0446395072
  • ISBN-13: 978-0446395076
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.7 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (59 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #960,040 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This is a motivating book for anyone who's heart leads them to writing - professionally or as a personal challenge - yet they are confronted by either their own negative internal voices or by their critical, so called friends. Along with inspirational quotes from famous writers, the book guides you with achievable steps to help you overcome your fears of writing, procrastination, writer's block, waiting for inspiration etc. An easy to read and follow book, because the author "Joel Saltzman" intended it that way. His philosophy for writing is simple: he says "if you can talk, you can write." And he's write. (pun intended).
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Format: Paperback
One of my literati friends gave this to me for my birthday last year as a joke since I always talk about writing more but I always manage to procrastinate. Joel Saltzman's "If You Can Talk You Can Write" was both funny and insightful and helped me kick some of my bad writing habits (being too much of a perfectionist during early drafts, beating writer's block, revising). After I read it I sat down the next day and followed Joel's advice: write about whatever, as long as I was writing again. This is like writer therapy (or rehabiliation). It got me off my chesterfield and back at the keyboard.
This is a great tool for student writers and university writing courses. If I ever decide to teach creative writing, this book will definitely be on my required reading list. Too many writers burn out from many of the topics Joel discusses, such as being too critical, too much of a perfectionist, or labouring away trying to imitate the style of the classic writers instead of finiding your own unique voice.
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Format: Paperback
I found the book was informative and inspiring. It answered many questions and doubts I had about writing. It made me feel confident I was a good candidate. I have loaned the book to others and they have been similarly interested in trying to start writing their own books.
It provided me with the support and confidence boost I needed to take that step of faith and try something new. I have developed several ideas for books from the thought provoking questions this book uses to develop your creative instinct.
I can use the ocasional reminder of what or how I should do something as a rookie writer. I am presently working on a suspense novel based on my visits to Russia, another series of books on family security concerns, and editing my loss prevention manual. Thanks Mr. Saltzman!
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By A Customer on August 22, 2001
Format: Paperback
I have always described myself as a "writer who never writes." I kid you not when I tell you that I have barely drafted so much as a shopping list in the last 20 years. Before reading this book, I attributed my problem to "writer's block." After reading the book, I know it is not a case of writer's block, but instead a case of "perfectionist's block." In other words, I've known what to write all along, I've just been terrified of how to translate the thoughts in my head onto paper. This book teaches you how to overcome the myth that anything you write has to be absolutely perfect, or it's not worth writing in the first place. It gives you the freedom to express yourself without the fear of rejection. It was absolutely a god-send for me. Since completing the book last weekend I've filled an entire journal with stories on a variety of subjects, with a long list of topics I have not even befun to explore. If you want to write but think of every reason under the sun to start tomorrow rather than today, this is the book for you. It will absolutely change your life!
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Format: Paperback
Whether you're a fiction writer, or a non-fiction writer, this book is for you. Perfect for those who get stuck in the rut of perfectionism (a.k.a. writer's block). That awful state, oh my!
To often, we expect our writing to come out like smooth golden honey, dripping onto the page with every pen stroke. But often, this isn't the case. Instead of gold, we get blah. We get a lot of blah; in fact, we get so much blah that we question our writing ability. We want to give up. But, don't give up -- keep writing instead.
If you want to writer, you need to stick your nose into your notebook and write. Learn how to free-write, and you'll be on your way to success. "How I that?" you may ask. Get this book and find out. After you're finished, you can always go back and edit your drafts to your hearts content. But for now, learn to talk on paper first.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a good little book to read after you have failed in your first few attempts to write something worthwhile.
Mr. Saltzman points out, in a very simple manner, that perfection is absolutely unattainable… so why bother. Mr. Saltzman’s, very liberating philosophy on writing is to simply write like you talk. Don’t get bogged down in a sea of grammatical falderal, you can deal with that stuff later. Get on with it and get it written down. You really need to let yourself go and enjoy the story you want to tell.
Read this little book before you sit down to your next writing session; before you start something new, and follow the simple philosophies therein, or rather just let yourself tell your story. You’ll see a world of difference in the way you feel about things when you’re finished.
An excellent read.
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