2008-01-09

The Writer's Book of Hope, by Ralph Keyes

The Writer's Book of Hope
Owl Books, 240 pages

I'm sure every writer has been discouraged from time to time, and I'm no exception. That my personal life is turned upside down doesn't help, but I'm hanging in there. (And I managed some revising the other day.)

So where does this book come in?

Mr. Keyes came out with an earlier book, and, apparently, many who read that book (The Courage to Write) wanted something to help them after they'd written their Magnum Opus. He came forth with The Writer's Book of Hope: Getting From Frustration to Publication, and I think it's a real winner.

The style it's written in is neither pie-in-the-sky nor doom-and-gloom. (Nothing like a couple of cliches on a Wednesday afternoon to get your eyes to glaze, hmm? ;-)) But what I liked was his encouragement, his "you can do this" and "look, other people have dealt with frustrations and anxieties, but they got through it." One of the most amusing - and saddening, for Mr. Keyes - was the time he wrote a non-fiction book, which went nowhere. It was remaindered, and he found a couple of copies at some furniture store! (Think IKEA.) I kid you not. Imagine walking in and finding your book in such an unlikely place - definitely cringe-worthy! (And depressing.) But it shows that Mr. Keyes knows what it's like to be depressed and frustrated and anxious over your baby.

Think of it as a pep talk with a moderately-peppered (and funny) cheerleader. It'll get you hunkering to write stuff down, or revise, or endure yet another rejection. No, he won't tell you it doesn't hurt, but he will point out how famously-published (and not-so-famously-published) authors persisted/refused to be bowed/went forward.

Because if you don't go forward, how will that book ever get published?

So, if you're disheartened, not writing, and need a pick-me-up, this might just be what your brain and your soul need.

~Nancy Beck

4 comments:

Liz Brooker said...

Thank you! This was just what I needed to see today! I'll check it out.

~Nancy said...

Glad to have been of service. :-)

April said...

I should check out this book...I'm writing, but I'm feeling stuck kinda. I'm just pushing through....

How have you been? Sorry I haven't been around lately. I'll try to be a better blogger!

~Nancy said...

I've been okay, I guess. Not writing much. I've been reading some non-fiction, mostly motivational-type stuff. Debt has really reared its ugly head (having to get a dryer over the weekend doesn't help), and I need to get in some extra money, sooner rather than later.

I thought about getting a job at Sears (part time, naturally), but I just couldn't see myself as a cashier (I've never worked in retail); I don't think I'd be happy at such a job.

So I'm reading the motivational stuff and doing some online research on freelancing. I'm such a research whore, lol, checking out every last little bit on...everything! :-) I did pick up a couple of old maps (1940s era) for my current WIP, as I think they'll help with getting my characters from one place to another.

Hope I haven't blathered on too much. I just have to keep looking forward - and upward! :-)