Although How to Turn our Book Club Into a Spectacular Event is targeted to young adults, there’s no reason your social nine or ten year old couldn’t use it, to create a club for younger readers. It’s a good excuse for a little regular party after all, and as long as your child is reading on par with his or her friends, a chance to work through jointly read books in a fun, structured manner has got to be one of the best learning experiences you’ll ever find.
This is no trivial message. It’s at the heart of a purposeful life, and in a world where nearly all of the media messages that are being bombarded at us are focused on the opposite – consume, scan, move fast from one interest to the next, and live life lightly, this is critically, utterly important. This is a book that should be read by everyone who wants to live their life in a way that is vital and leaves some kind of legacy.
The book is pitched in such a way that it can be used by those who are just starting out, people who will want to follow it’s step-by-step approach from cover to cover, or those more experienced, who can gain ideas and inspiration from what is working well for Bowerman and his colleagues.
There is a warmth and an affirmative coaching quality to this book, but it isn’t only about urging you on. There are also some useful suggestions and exercises designed to help you work through your fears, and find out exactly what you need to write. There are exercises for overcoming block, even when it seems overwhelming, ways of coping with distraction and transition, and ideas you can use to deepen your characters, enrich your settings, and extend your plot.
Standing at Water’s Edge provides a deep psychological understanding of what is required, and how we can allow ourselves deeper immersion into the world of our art, regardless of what kind of art we practice. The end result will be not only more powerful art, but a better sense of who we are and how to overcome the many fears that block our creative impulses in all aspects of our lives.
Although it might not be for everyone; and there’s a fair amount of paper manipulation and fiddle, Williams’ system is one that will work in turning a good idea into a well constructed, pleasing book. The systematic approach makes the most of each person’s individual creativity, and even the little tips on writing are unique and clever in their approach. For anyone who struggles with large writing projects, this is an empowering, fun, and innovative process.
The Write Advice is an interesting collection of affirmations and sayings that you can enjoy whenever you need a little inspiration, to get yourself going, or just for a laugh. This is a neatly presented, well chosen group of sayings that can prove valuable for both changing your mindset, and finding camaraderie and support from the most lofty sources.
While you might need a few more reference books on your journey from a person who dreams of being an author to someone who has a book of his or her own to sign and sell, this is nevertheless a useful starting point and a reference you’ll find yourself going back to along the way.
This seems to be a recurring theme for these American writers. In a culture obsessed with money, that judges people’s worth, and even godliness, on their income and possessions, how can a serious writer survive psychologically and continue to produce while knowing those around them often perceive them to be layabouts and losers who should get ‘a proper job’?
Overall, Elmore Leonard’s 10 Rules of Writing is a smart, generous, thought-provoking piece of work and is chockful of all of this writer’s insouciant integrity – but don’t come to it expecting to be spoon-fed. One would have liked more, for at a mere 89 pages in all, the book is somewhat slight.