writing guide

Review of ‘The Audacity to be a Writer’

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Being audacious is about taking risks, going against conventions and the status quo—which is an excellent definition of a writer—a writer who dares to put his or her work out for public review, that is. But, there is a demon that conspires to make it difficult to be audacious. It’s called the demon of self-doubt. Conquering this demon is the first step on the road to doing what you are meant to do, and that, my friend is, WRITE!

The Audacity to be a Writer: 50 Inspiring Articles on Writing that Could Change Your Life is a collection of posts from Bryan Hutchinson’s The Positive Writer blog that will do just what the title claims: it will change your life for the better.

Written by Hutchinson and several other writing bloggers, these articles are from the most read and commented-on posts that have appeared on The Positive Writer. While they cover the entire spectrum of writing, the most useful are those that address how to deal with the self-doubt that afflicts every writer. Written in the direct, positive style that is the hallmark of The Positive Writer, they offer helpful hints that assist you in the wrenching process of pulling the writer within you into the light. They challenge you to be audacious. They challenge you to write, and they will change your life.

These articles don’t claim that they will make you a perfect writer—only a better writer. All you have to do is what every writer who wants to be better must do, read them, and pay attention to what they have to say. We become better writers by writing every day! So, what are you waiting for? An audacious five stars for this book.

Review of ‘You Can Say That Again’

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Redundancies are all around us. If you write, no matter how careful you are redundancies will creep into your writing. You Can Say That Again: 750 Redundant Phrases to Think Twice About by Marcia Riefer Johnston is a short book listing a number of redundant phrases that are ‘the result of semi-conscious writing.’ This is an excellent reference book for any writer, whether you’re penning fiction or nonfiction. I keep the free copy that I received for review near my computer whenever I write—including this review—as a tool to help me avoid the sin of creeping repetition.

A useful guide, and here I’ll risk providing the author with grist for any update she decides to do by describing it as ‘hilariously funny,’ because, in addition to being useful, it was fun to read. Five stars!