Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Living Write

In the unlikely event that you were wondering why I haven't been blogging for the last couple of weeks, it was because I decided to take a fortnight off. That's quite unusual for me as I normally find myself desperate to get back to writing after about a week or so but for reasons that I won't bore you with, I decided that "psychologically" I needed a longer break. Although I haven't been anywhere exotic like the south of France or even Dagenham, it was good to get away from my desk for a while.

Although I spent most of my time watching Wimbledon and the Tour de France while listening to cricket, I did read a "how to" book about writing which I found really useful. It's called "Living Write" and the author is Kelly L. Stone. I should point out that it's an American book and all the author quotes and extracts are from American authors, but that didn't really worry me as the advice and tips apply to any writers.

I ordered it because the review said that the author, who is a professional counsellor, would show you how to:
* Make writing a daily priority
* Maintain enthusiasm, motivation and dedication for long-term writing goals
* Overcome fear of failure
*Gain confidence in your writing abilities
*Identify yourself as a "writer", not just someone who casually sits down to write.

These are all areas that I feel I have been struggling with recently (I'm guessing I'm not the only one!) and it's certainly given me the "kick-start" I needed. The book is divided into three parts: Inviting Writing Into Your Daily Life, Developing A Writer's Mind-set and Deepen Your Writing. There are fifteen chapters, each of which contains a practical "exercise" to help with reversing negativity and moving forward as a disciplined writer.

I particularly liked the idea of setting twenty year goals (gulp!) and then working backwards through ten years, five years, three years, one year and so on, to help you discover what you should be working on right now. Also the idea of adopting a successful author as a positive role model and trying to emulate their successful working patterns and habits appealed to me. I wasn't too sure about the suggestion of talking into a mirror to help realise your writing ambitions but I have been doing it a bit (mainly when I'm cleaning my teeth!) and actually, it seems to have helped.

There is also a CD with the book that contains "guided meditations" designed to accompany some of the exercises and to act as a prelude to your writing sessions. I must admit I haven't listened to that yet.

As I said earlier, "Living Write" is an American book published by Adams Media. I have just looked on Amazon and it is available there so why not give it a go?


  1. If this person can help people with all of those five issues above, then it's certainly a book worth reading. I'm not sure about the guided meditations - I'm always a bit cynical about that sort of thing and I think it's probably better to find your own. I'll certainly have a look on Amazon, though.

  2. You may well be right about the guided meditations! I'll let you know how I get on with them.