Read Wordsmithy: Hot Tips for the Writing Life by Douglas Wilson Online

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Wordsmithy is for writers of every sort, whether experienced veterans, still just hoping, or somewhere in between. Through a series of out-of-the-ordinary lessons, each with its own takeaway points and recommended readings, Douglas Wilson provides indispensable guidance, showing how to develop the writer s craft and the kind of life from which good writing comes....

Title : Wordsmithy: Hot Tips for the Writing Life
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ISBN : 9781591280996
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 120 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Wordsmithy: Hot Tips for the Writing Life Reviews

  • Courtney Joshua
    2018-11-16 04:55

    If only he'd called it "Wordpsmithy"... :)

  • Jacob Aitken
    2018-11-06 01:21

    I am evaluating Wilson on professional respect, and I am trying to keep my antipathy of his theology, polemics, and ecclesiology to a minimum. Wilson has triumphed in an area where most people have failed--writing. Therefore, if he writes a book on how to write well, and how to live the writer's life, then he deserves to be listened to. The book is interestingly arranged. He writes an introduction and then divides that introduction to intersperse throughout the chapters. At the end of each section he gives a short bibliography that supposedly expands the points he made. Some gems:1. Keep a writer's notebook full of phrases you would like to use later. In this he probably echoes numerous other writers. 2. Collect different types of books, particularly mechanical helps. I have been a grammar teacher for several years now (yes, I deliberately ended a sentence with a preposition earlier; let the reader understand) and studying the gears of grammar does help.3. Learn classical languages. I don't share his commitment to the classical model, but he is right *to an extent.* I learned Greek in college and I taught myself Latin, and it does make a difference. Admittedly, though, this chapter was simply an advertisement for his own program.4. Practice poetry. In other words, practice writing the hard stuff that one is not normally inclined to write. If nothing else, this makes one smarter. 5. He says to have "20 books going at one time" (Wilson, 31). I'm not so sure. Some books are the kind that demand to absorb you, and if you have 20 going you will likely miss out on that experience. C. S. Lewis at one point advocated having no more than a handful going. In any case, as I look at my shelf I see 15-20 I am reading. Criticisms:a. Wilson lets his own particular antagonism to his current opponent get the best of him at times. On a few occasions it is funny, but for the most part it distracts the reader. Yes, one should make fun of the hippies ala Stuff White People Like, but disagreeing with Wilson on economics and politics does not make one a postmodernist hippie. b. While the bibliographic information in some sections is helpful, a lot of times it is not. I cannot fathom for the life of me why an aspiring writer, needing to work on the mechanics, should ever read the "scapegoat atonement theory of Christology" by Rene Girard. Honestly?c. Sometimes the book alternates between a desperate plea that "Yes, Protestants, too, can be good writers. Look at C. S. Lewis" and a backhanded slap at anyone who doesn't share his own aesthetic theory.ConclusionI am sharply critical of this book at points, but I will give credit where credit is due (or since Wilson is Reformed, "non-credit," since merit theology is mostly bad). He is a good writer, of that no one can doubt. He has done us a favor giving us his insights into writing. For that we are grateful. However, there are a few annoying qualities that appear repeatedly throughout the book, and they keep the book from getting five stars.Criticisms aside, I will likely practice his teachings today.

  • Jerry
    2018-11-20 04:59

    As an early Christmas present my in-laws gave me a copy of Wordsmithy by Doug Wilson, and I read it very quickly. I have read many Doug Wilson books so I am used to his voice and perspective, but in this book he really is playful and expansive. This is not a how to manual for aspiring writers with nuts and bolts, there are some good books that can do that, such as The Book on Writing by LaRocque. This book is all about how live as a writer. Read good books, live a life with something to say, practice in other genres, and do not be afraid to be bad. These are simple principles but Wilson does an incredible job of motivating you by using his life, his writing life, to communicate a passionate worldview of writing. I highly recommend this book on anyone who has a creative calling. Whether its preaching sermons (my case), writing children's stories, fashion designer, songwriter or graphic designer, this book will be valuable. It is a short book that can be read in a night or two, but be careful this book will get into your bones and you will want to start writing again or blogging.

  • Mark Jr.
    2018-11-04 01:23

    I try to be scrupulous in my use of the five stars allotted to me by the gentle people of Goodreads. Five stars means "it was amazing." And I can't honestly say that about this book. But it was certainly fantastic. I—four stars—"really liked it." I chuckled and I learned. And it was short. It's hard to beat those qualities.All Christian writers should pick up this book, and most Christian preachers, especially those who do anything remotely close to manuscripting their sermons. Sermonizing is only one special form of the writing craft, and so much of Wilson's advice applies.

  • T. Aidan McGuire
    2018-11-08 03:59

    Helpful teaching on the unteachable subject.

  • Josiah Brown
    2018-11-06 05:13

    I read this book a little while ago, and I have to say that it was amazing. All the tips that he gives don't necessarily help everybody in the same way, but it was a great sum of tips for the writing life. I am starting to get more and more into writing, and this was a great way to help me grow a bit as I learn to write better. I highly recommend this book.

  • James Nance
    2018-11-16 05:02

    A good book full of good words, directing the reader and writer to more good words and good books.

  • Bethany F.
    2018-10-21 03:19

    Doug Wilson attacks the craft head-on… by addressing the craftsman. "Wordsmithy" discusses how to be a person with your head on right--how to be a good writer not just good at writing. The book is divided into seven tips with seven sub-tips, "a veritable Russian doll," as he puts it. From living to reading, from mechanics to language, from lousiness to skill, from sketching to stretching, Wilson moves with light-hearted seriousness from topic to topic while demonstrating his own subject matter. Each portion has a bolded take-away-point and various recommended books (which I can't wait to attack). It spares no words, but at the same time feels slightly rollicking. Between the style and organization, the book is good for taking notes or glancing to refresh or re-inspire. Be careful if you're reading in a quiet library. You will inevitably laugh. I had to explain enough chuckles, I ended up reading large portions out-loud.Wilson gives a strong argument for living like a human and tackling the difficult, and not just the difficult directly related to writing. In short, "Wordsmithy" makes me want every soul to be a writer so this book can be crammed into our hearts and heads.Here are few tantalizing tidbits. You need to discover the rest for yourself!"Real life duties should be preferred over real life tourism. You are learning about the world and the people in it, about whom you will write, and you are learning how to do your job in the service of others, which is what you need to continue to do as you undertake the writing life. Knowledge of how to do your duty in one area transfers readily to another area." "Live, Ovid said, it is an art to conceal art, and I would add that it is art to half conceal the deep message. True artists know how to do this deftly, and message-mongers do not. But doing it deftly and with wisdom should never be confused with not doing it at all."This quote is particularly good for me- "If you enjoy living, you will enjoy writing about it. And if you enjoy writing about it, the chances are greatly increased that the readers will enjoying reading it." "Love what you observe, love what you write, and love those who read it."

  • Mathew
    2018-10-27 05:01

    A Renaissance of Reading and WritingDouglas Wilson writes with a certain gusto which often causes no small stir. He’s also unique as a theologian who also writes about a variety of other topics ranging from education, writing, logic, philosophy. I might argue that the church has far too few renaissance men and that’s part of the problem Wordsmithy address. Wilson urges aspiring writers to write well by reading broadly and writing widely. My default in reading and writing is to pigeon hole myself into a hole by only focusing on theological work. Theology is wonderful and I could count the ways but Wilson argues that to writer well no matter what your preferred genre requires more than reading in just your field. He offers seven practical tips: Know something about the world. Read. Read mechanical helps. Stretch before your routines. Be at peace with being lousy for a while. Learn another language. Keep a commonplace book.Wilson than expands each of these points into seven additional sub-points which flesh out each of these thesis. I found the advice practical, punchy, and memorable in the way you expect if you’ve read anything by Douglas Wilson.Intentional Reading and Writing I’ve been encouraged to be even more intentional in my reading to improve my writing. I have kept a common book of sorts on and off for over the last eight or nine years but I’ve never included phrases and the like in my book. I’ve read three books since and have already benefited from tracking interesting phrases and turn of words. Don’t tell anyone but I’ve also taken to heart his advice about reading through dictionaries and etymologies and jotting down interesting words. I would also add that if you purchase your books through Kindle and use its highlight feature tracking these items is easy. You can download the Kindle app to your computer desktop and then copy and paste into a digital common book or transcribe into your hard cover. Also, I found Wordsmithy to be a fantastic companion to Lit!: A Christian Guide to Reading Books. They very much complemented each other.

  • Jeff Short
    2018-11-13 07:09

    Of making many books there is no end, so says Solomon. I would add a corollary: Of making many books about making many books there is no end. In this case, that is a good thing. I have read enough of Doug Wilson that I wasn't surprised at how good this book is. Readable doesn't do it justice even if it is eminently. Wordsmithy is informative, insightful, and entertaining.I must confess that I audibly chortled a number of times. I maybe even threatened a guffaw. I thought about including some quotes, but that I found them so humorous would unveil a nerdom that I am not sure I am comfortable with in the wild.I have read a number of books on writing and each had its own bit to pitch in. If you are familiar with how-to's, you will recognize some common advice, but some of it is given much more depth. The chapter on reading provides some worldview and wherefores to the essential prescriptive: Read a lot. I highly recommend it to writers and wannabe's all the more. This is a book that will help you. It will help you today and even more so years from now if you have ears to hear.

  • Jeremy
    2018-11-09 02:16

    Lotta fun. Great advice from a pro, and it comes in small chunks, so I made lots of little bits of progress and finished in about 2 days. I've gotten into a habit of noting funny spots, and in this 120-page book, there might be 100. Not bad.Gospel Coalition review here.And here Wilson explains which writers have provided his own writing with "that winsome tartness." Those writers are C.S. Lewis, H.L. Mencken, P.G. Wodehouse, J.R.R. Tolkien, John Calvin, G.K. Chesterton, Rousas Rushdoony, William F. Buckley, Rene Girard, and John Piper.

  • Jesse Broussard
    2018-10-23 00:16

    I feel far too inadequate to review this book, as if I were asked to give a comic introduction to Bob Hope: I'd much rather shut up and sit down.Having said that, read this book. Again and again and again. Memorize the blasted thing, and buy and read all the books he recommends. Or just follow him around till you see a chariot then steal his coat.

  • Joostnixon
    2018-11-08 03:02

    There is one book Wilson has written that is funnier than this one, and it is an obscure one (Contours of Postmaturity). Get that one, and read it, if you can. But this one is helpful in a different way. A delight to read (which it ought to be considering it's a book on writing), and quite helpful.

  • Darby Stouffer
    2018-11-04 05:55

    I loved this. It's funny, it's easy to read, and it provides great advice for those of us that want to be better writers, but aren't quite sure how to go about it. My only complaint is that I wish it were longer.

  • Jerry
    2018-11-04 07:17

    This punchy little book more than lived up to its title. Fun to read and makes you want to write.

  • Evan Hecht
    2018-11-07 23:58

    Excellent wisdom found here that's worth rereading annually.

  • Wesley Rea
    2018-11-16 06:24

    This was a quick and easy read for a car trip. I know Doug Wilson is a polarizing figure to some, but one cannot deny that he is a great writer. This book is filled with tips and thoughts related to becoming a better writer, and I felt very inspired by the time I finished it.One point in particular that stuck with me was the section about how we forget most of what we read. This is because we are human and most of us can't possibly memorize every book we go through, even though the pressure might be there to try and do that at times. In a very clear way, the author instructs us to set aside that unreasonable expectation and continue to read as much as we can even if we do not remember most of what we read. How a book affects us continues to affect us even after we have forgotten 95% of what we read; the content still stays with us as long as we read well and paid attention to it.This book has definitely convinced me that I need to start making small writing goals during the day. I have often received compliments on my writing and I've helped many people during college when I was a tutor in our writing center. If I have any aptitude for this craft, I need to practice more and continue to develop my writing voice in a way that will honor the ability that God has given me.

  • Terrence Daugherty
    2018-10-27 23:00

    Worth reading repeatedly I recommend this book to those nascent writers, like myself, who want to expand their abilities, but don't really have the time to compile the necessary resources for doing so. This book will be one of the few that I try to read often as I continue to develop my skills.While Wilson is quite prescriptive in this book, he leaves the reader (or rather, the writer) with a plethora of recommended resources. Not only that, but Wilson also 'practices what he preaches.' His pith and refreshing prose kept me focused and I'm confident that even after exhausting this invaluable resource, Wordsmithy will remain one of my favorites. Now off to reading Mencken!

  • Elizabeth
    2018-11-17 02:05

    There are innumerable how-to books for writers cluttering the marketplace. I tend to avoid them (often, I suppose, to my detriment), but I read this one on the recommendation of my father, and I'm not sorry I did. This is not another book purporting to tell you how to write correctly, or in the manner that might prove most lucrative. This is more a guide on how to cultivate a life conducive to worthy writing. I found it to be equal parts approachable and entertaining.

  • Corey
    2018-11-01 00:10

    One of the best writing books out there. Period.

  • Scotty Mac
    2018-10-25 07:01

    Hard to beat a book on writing that makes you laugh throughout. This quick hitting practical guide to writing with power is one that I will recommend often to any aspiring writers such as myself.

  • Nick
    2018-11-02 01:16

    I just wish there was more. Some really interesting thoughts on the writing life!

  • Valerie Kyriosity
    2018-10-27 04:13

    Wrought iron makes my heart go pitter-pat. There are smiths who can make beautiful things out of the stuff. And then there are the mere farriers who can hammer a metal half-moon onto the overgrown toenail of a horse. Though they're not quite as lofty as the iron artists, they can sometimes save kingdoms, which isn't too shabby a calling.That's the kind of wordsmith I am. I like to mess about with words, but I'm not much of a writer...just a pretty competent (I hope) equine pedicurist, i.e., a copyeditor. So I read Wordsmithy in hopes of finding a tip or two to hone my skills in that department, and I was not disappointed.The book makes seven points, each of which has seven subpoints. I'll reflect on a few:1) Live so you'll have something to write about. This is why I'm not a writer. I just don't get out enough. A friend once tried to convince me that I really was a writer, so I should get busy and crank out a book. Me: What about? She: Write about your experiences as a single woman. Me [thinking that sounded ghastly dull]: Yes, I'll write about being a bitter old maid! She: Well, you'll have to get over that, first. I was joking. She was not. It was funny. The one thing she thought I might know enough to write about, she didn't think I knew enough to write about. So this section was confirmation for me that I oughtn't fancy myself too much of a word artist, because I've got precious little in the way of subject matter. It also made me think I ought to see the other side of my front door a little more often.2) Read lots and lots. And lots. This was actually good advice for anybody—the improvement of one's mind by extensive reading is, as Mr. Darcy noted, totes cool. I especially liked the permission to forget most of it. I'm an avid underliner, but I very rarely reread. Pens just make great hearing aids. 3) Learn how the English language works. This was my favorite chapter, especially the third subpoint. I underlined most of that one. I recently read this tweet: "Apostrophes are like nobility and dogmas: no great obvious value but you're taught to respect them, 'so they must be REALLY important.'" It bugged the heck outta me. Both nobility and dogmas are of tremendous value, which is tremendously obvious to me and most people I know. It would be tremendously obvious to the tweeter, too, if he were held up at gunpoint: He'd gain a sudden clarity re the value of such dogma as "Thou shalt not steal and/or kill," and he would positively treasure the nobility of anyone who stepped in to get him out of his predicament. Do apostrophes have that sort of moral weight? No, and those who behave as if they do also need a smack upside the head. This section delivers the one-two punch, KOing both the libertines and the legalists. I look forward to plagiarizing it next time I come across a tweet like that. And speaking of tweets, you can totally cheat on points two and four in this chapter by subscribing to a bunch of Twitter accounts that deliver daily or weekly content about words and their meanings. My alter-ego's follow list is a good place to start.4) Try your hand at lots of different genres. Humorous verse is particularly recommended in subpoint three. So...If you heed the advice of WilsonYour writing could pay the bills, son,But there'll never be much moneyIn Clerihews, however funny.And...To avoid aspirations too nerdy,Doug suggests writing Limericks—thirty.Now the head of some punkNeeds a resounding *THUNK*.Three-zero, he said, boy, not dirty!Subpoint four also piqued my interest. As far as I know, I'm the only person in the world who's had both Doug Wilson and Eugene Peterson as pastors, so one's thoughts on the other were kinda fun to read from that perspective. 5) Be OK with being bad before you become good. Good sense here about learning curves and taking criticism. Extrapolatable to many areas of life and learning.6) Learn other languages, especially yo mama tongue's mama tongues. If I did fancy myself a writer, my four years of junior and senior high Latin and my two semesters of Koine Greek would be feeling pretty skimpy right now. As an editor, I feel decently enough attired in them.7) Keep a commonplace book. I tried a commonplace blog for a while. It fizzled quickly. I'm just too lazy. (Probably another big reason I'm not a writer.)In conclusion, I muchly appreciated the bits that applied to me and didn't mind the bits that didn't. And I sure can generate a lotta words to say I'm not a writer, eh?

  • Adam Ross
    2018-10-21 06:23

    Doug Wilson's book on writing is a lot of things, but boring is hardly one of them. His trademark pithy style is in full force here (something I haven't had so much fun with since A Serrated Edge). If you picked the book up hoping for some help on the mechanics of writing, you're sure to be disappointed, because Wilson's book is about the writing "life," and therefore has more to do with prep than enactment, principles rather than rules. Much of it, in fact, is advice that needs to be applied years before you sit down and put pen to paper - or more accurately to contemporary life, finger to keyboard. He emphasizes the importance of a lifelong love of reading and absorption of literature. While this isn't Wilson, I myself have often said that you are what you read, much like with what you eat. A diverse reading list is recommended (Wodehouse is prevalent), from classical literature to the modern equivalent of the penny-dreadful, from dictionaries to books on language, history and economics. I've read the books on economics he recommended and thought them mostly trash, but hey, are you going to sit there and take *my* word for it? A certain inquisitiveness and individuality of spirit is needed.The remainder of the book is geared toward keeping you from a headlong crash into either side of the road. Learn several languages. Read constantly. Live in the world, don't just be a tourist. Keep a notebook of phrases, ideas and experiences that might be useful. Above all, avoid pretension. It's ugly. Don't use your knowledge and well-readed-ness to make it apparent you're well read. The only thing I found myself wishing for was . . . more. I've read a ton of books on writing, both on the mechanical and on the "life" end, and there wasn't a huge amount here you couldn't find somewhere else. I know Wilson has a ton to contribute (and does in many places), but I wanted more depth, more theological foundation that would root the writing life in Christ and the faith. Sometimes I thought the pith kept the discussion going much deeper (and other times, was downright helpful in illustrating the point on the spot). Still, well worth a read.

  • Aaron Downs
    2018-10-22 02:20

    Reading Douglas Wilson’s witty work about writing, Wordsmithy, was a wacky way to want wonderful words to work their way into my own writing. This short book serves as a sort of discipleship manual for those who want to use words effectively, especially in writing. The suggestions given by this book serve to help one become a better writer, a better speaker, and a better reader. The directions that Wilson gives, if followed, produce a disciplined, yet delightful, development of diction. Though I found the entire book to be helpful, there were a few statements that I feel are worth noting: “Anything worth doing is worth doing badly” - G. K. Chesteron. I find this quote, and the idea that Wilson communicates, to be very encouraging. I am reminded that making improvements often involves making mistakes. If I am not willing to make mistakes, then I am not going to make improvement. “Interesting people are interested people.” If I want my writing to be interesting, I must first be interested in other people. I must take the time to get to know people, and to cultivate a genuine interest in others—even those with whom I do not naturally connect. “Read until your brain creaks.” I receive criticism from time to time because I usually am in the process of working through multiple books rather than working through one at a time. Wilson reminded me “not to be afraid to have twenty books going at once.” I immediately started reading another book. Read dictionaries. This may be the most boring-sounding piece of advice that I have ever read. However, I started reading, as Wilson suggested, a page a day from the dictionary and highlighting the words that stand out to me. Though I was a bit dubious at first, I have found this exercise to be particularly enjoyable. I highly recommend Wordsmithy for any desiring to become a better writer, a better speaker, and a better reader. I have never read any of Wilson’s writing before, but I look forward to reading another book that has his name on the cover.

  • Jimmy
    2018-11-13 07:02

    I've enjoyed this book, it was a fun and informative read. Filled with practical advice for writers (maybe I think they are great because I've read very little on writing). I've enjoyed Doug Wilson's other works so I had high hopes with this book to reveal the working of a great writer. Wilson had seven points in the book, which he then breaks down into seven smaller points in a format that he describes as "Seven Russian Dolls." If you find that clever as I did, you would enjoy other witty sayings Wilson has throughout the book. Practical and helpful advice can also be gleamed throughout the book. I like his advice for writers to be readers, and to read widely. I've also enjoyed his encouragement for writers to have a book to take notes of what one reads, or witty phrases one might have thought of, so as to use it for it later. Another source of encouragement for me came from the robust theology that a Christian writer would enjoy from theology proper: Don't feel that you would run out of good and better things to share if you do not hold back but give it your all: Our good God is infinite and is able to provide even more abundantly. I was very convicted about learning grammar for that has always been a major problem in all that I write. The reason why it was convicting was because communication is an act of love, and Wilson has a good point that we ought to be as clear as possible. Wilson is a masterful communicator and certainly readers will learn something about the art of writing. Even as I was reading this work, as a preacher a lot of what he says is helpful for speaking as well.

  • Gavin Breeden
    2018-11-13 04:19

    Read it in a few hours. Very enjoyable. The subtitle says it all, "hot tips for the writing life." This book doesn't focus as much on rules and tips about sentence structure or dialogue, instead, it considers what one writer believes the writer's life should include. Some of Wilson's tips: Know more about life than books because it will make your writing more colorful and give you experiences to draw from, "read until your brain creaks", practice writing in different forms such as sonnets, essays, blog posts, novellas, etc. and it'll keep you humble and make you a better writer, keep a commonplace book in which you'll collect sentences and phrases-- be a collector of words and phrases, learning other languages will better help you know your own language, and so on.Another positive about the book is its brevity. The brief introduction introduces seven tips. Seven chapters follow-- one for each tip-- and each chapter is broken down into seven sub-tips. It's all wrapped up with a pretty little conclusion. The book is short, structured, and easy to read.What might be the best thing about the book is that Wilson demonstrates much of the advice he gives here. His writing has lots of color and flavor because he uses allusions, quotes, metaphors, and humor appropriately.Also, each of the seven sections of each chapter includes book recommendations dealing with that specific sub-tip. So, there are well over a hundred book recommendations here on writing, economics, American slang, baseball, and, of course, a slew of P.G. Wodehouse books.Definitely a book I'll return to. Highly recommended if you fancy yourself a writer (or would like to).

  • Mark Nenadov
    2018-10-21 00:01

    Most good books are enjoyable, but you don’t want to necessarily linger around in them. If they were much longer, you’d probably hate them. Part of their charm is that they end in a timely fashion. You enjoyed the day with them, but as the saying goes, at the end of the day “they are not your kids”.It’s a rare and special book, though, that truly makes you really want to keep on chewing. Unfortunately, our notions of reading progress won’t ordinarily let us linger in a 100-something page book for a year. So then, with much regret we plow along and finish the book. We vow to re-read it soon and secretly wish it were 2,000 pages so we could keep on chewing.Wordsmithy falls into this second category. It’s a delight to read from start to finish. The brevity was enjoyable, but also bittersweet. I wish I could keep on going.I would put this on a “must read” list for all writers, aspiring or not. The book is chalk full of instructive examples and suggested reading. It has tons of examples. It provides serious practical insight for writers. And yet, it is very lighthearted, a proverbial bouncing ball of fun. It’s less dry than one of Gussie Fink-Nottle’s newts emerging from Sir Watkyn Bassett’s bathtub.

  • Grace
    2018-10-25 06:24

    This book was amazing. It took me a while to read because he seemed to pack a lot of simple points into a small book, which was rather overwhelming to me. The points were big in themselves. While I did read it slowly, I feel like I got a lot out of it by reading it like that instead of reading it in one day like how it usually happens.I’m trying to refrain from ranting about it. Good size, funny but hardcore writing tips, simple and easy to understand for any growing writer - or even writers who’ve been at the trade for a while. Would I recommend it? Yesyesyes. If you’re a writer. Otherwise, I can’t see someone wanting or needing to read it.What’s in this book/heads up/warnings - This is a suburb book of writing tips. Specifically, Christian writers. Therein lies the base reasoning behind most of his thoughts and tips. (The copy I own is "like new" only I've scribbled and unlined through it all. So it's not really like new? It's still in good shape otherwise. ...This is a note to self. :P )

  • Suzannah
    2018-11-08 04:20

    This little handbook on the writer’s life contains an immense deal of wisdom, and advice that is easy for everyone to take. Probably the two most valuable points in the book are to live a productive life both in the world of books and in the world of action. Get out there into the real world, he says, and do something, so you’ll have something to say. At the same time, read voraciously so you’ll know how to say it. Packed with the witty wisdom we’ve come to expect from Wilson, and all of it consistent with living an action-filled life outside the library. When I was younger I knew a lot of teenagers that wanted to be writers and did NaNoWriMo every year, but then adulthood hit and they found their time slipping away. The advice in this book will show you how to salt away experience, know-how, and bon mots for the future, even during the years you aren’t getting published.