I’m not one for “self-help” or instructional types of books, at least not in my pleasure reading. Sometimes I read non-fiction to learn new pedagogical strategies or theories, classroom psychology or activities, that sort of thing. But rarely do I read a book on how to write. I don’t generally need help writing (I mean, I’m here blogging for fun in my free time.) And my writing is decent. It’s not perfect, but it suffices. I know the more I do it, the better it gets — sometimes. Something I just don’t give a shhhuffft and will vomit-write.
But, back to Your Writing Matters.
O’Leary has some very solid advice here. The core message of this manual is to just write, all of it, until you’re done. So why read this? Because sometimes writers just need to hear it (or see it, in this case), to remember that they should keep writing. These are fantastic bite-sized pick-me-ups, short bursts of “hey, you can do it!” that a writer can inject into their day when they feel their productivity, their writing flagging.
Some of the essays include exercises for the reader to do while they are reading, while they are feeling self-conscious of their writing, when they are on the cusp of giving up. Other essays intend to remind the reader of their value as a writer, that their ideas — no matter how awfully expressed, no matter how chunkily written — are worthy artifacts to keep and to hone. A few intend to make light of the gravity of writing. They aim to make us smile, laugh even.
This is a book for a writer to keep at the ready, on the desk where the said task is done, next to the delete button to prevent the writer from second-guessing their work, next to the thesaurus.
I’m going to go now and write something.
2 thoughts on “Your Writing Matters: 34 Quick Essays to Get Unstuck and Stay Inspired by Keiko O’Leary”
‘Just write’ is really an under-appreciated piece of advice, because so many possibilities come from just those two words. I’ve always believed in that saying, and when in doubt, just writing always frees up the mind to pursue what I call ‘real’ writing. But I have to warm up first, and that’s where the act of putting pen to paper helps. Anyway, thanks for this post!
You’re welcome! Thanks for the comment!