- Publisher: Hot Chocolate Press (1750)
- ASIN: B01F7XLRWY
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- Average Customer Review: 14 customer reviews
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Write Away: A Year of Musings and Motivations for Writers by Kerrie L. Flanagan (2014-05-24) Paperback – 1750
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With wisdom and humor, these two ladies have done a great job of giving writers a helping hand. Jenny Sundstedt's voice provides an extra dose of humor, so don't be surprised to find yourself chuckling at her essays. One of my favorites is "6 Impossible Things" -- Jenny converts the Tim Burton Alice in Wonderland goal of believing in six impossible things before breakfast to her own personal list. Number one on the list: "Chocolate can make me thin."
I plan to adopt Jenny's whole list.
One of my favorite pieces from Kerrie Flanagan, Director of Northern Colorado Writers, is "You Know You Are a Writer When..." where she provides the reader with a dozen criteria that will help with finally uttering those wonderful words, "I am a writer." The first one in the list hit home: "It is impossible for you to read a book without a red pen in hand, so you can edit the already published and edited book."
I might add, this especially applies to your own published book.
I received an advance review copy of this book and read it straight through for reviewing purposes. Now I plan to go back to the current month, use the goal setting page and read the essays of the month, then repeat on the first of each month for the next year. It's that good.
“Write Away” is a month-by-month journal of essays from two of Fort Collins’ most experienced authors. The months are broken down into four to seven short essays on the difficulties and inspirations writers face and timely advice by season. Each essay offers advice and direction for the practical and artistic points of the craft.
It’s intended to be read one or two essays per week, infusing the writer with new ideas and avenues to pursue.
Flanagan and Sundstedt’s chapters begin with a place to write your own, attainable goal for the month, what steps are needed to reach the goal, and what reward you will earn. (Chocolate, a writing class, a nap) This keeps the author focused and makes the insurmountable seem completely doable.
So much of what makes up great writing is the art and inspiration component. But even the most amazing writers need to abide by the rules that govern the process. Flanagan and Sundstedt offer very practical and easy to understand advice about achieving industry standards and navigating the often-intimidating world of publication.
They include essays on writing formidable query letters, how to handle “responses” from agents and publishers, and eliminating the “weeds” from your writing. A submissions table is included to track the material you send out for publication. The table makes your goals and efforts more concrete and it makes it easier to follow up with the work you have sent out.
From creative prompts to practical advice, every essay ends in a question for the reader and space to write an answer. “Write Away” promises to be a quintessential writer’s tool, proving to be useful, month after month, for years to come.
It has something useful for every writer, from the novice in the coffee shop, to the published guru sporting his or her own section at Barnes and Noble. Sundstedt’s writing is humorous and heartfelt, connecting immediately to other writers in a friendly-over-a-cup-of-coffee-discussion way. Flanagan shines as a tough-love mentor who’s walked the hard roads all writers traverse and she has the uncanny skill of gentle but useful persuasion that keeps the reader on the ‘write’ path.
Write Away is divided into twelve sections, one for each month of the year. Each month has several short, seasonal articles to help you get back on track or stay on track, and there's space to jot down your own thinking or responses. The concepts are clear and uncomplicated, and help open up your mind. Although the articles are about writing, they are helping me think through other goals as well.
"Write Away" is organized into motivational thoughts and snippets of illumination month by month. There's also room for notes, goals, ideas and even doodles at the end of section, which I really appreciate. So many times I read something, get an idea and forget it a few days later, but this resource makes sure I immediately get a chance to apply whatever the chapter's just taught me. In fact, each section is like a mini-class at a writing conference, something you can chew on and incorporate into your writing in the days ahead.
I would definitely recommend "Write Away" as one of the better writing resources I have ever read. It is the perfect mix of inspirational thoughts and practical exercises/ideas.