I am not a big fan of motivational books. I’m just not. If Stephen King says, “the road to hell is paved with adverbs,” I think that the road to the next universe must be paved with cheesy, inspirational books.
So when the editors of Chicken Soup for the Soul: Inspiration for Writers asked me if they could send me a copy to review on my blog, I didn’t know how that was going to turn out.
But internationally known speakers Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen , co-creators of the Chicken Soup for the Soul series, have produced more than 100 books in the series, so I figured they must be doing something right.
Action gives inspiration legs
While Chicken Soup for the Soul: Inspiration for Writers is not for everyone (what book is?), there are nuggets of truth for the beginning to intermediate author. Advice on not only overcoming your fears and staying the course, but stories that give you a peek at the methods and tactics 101 different writers have found helpful on their journey to publication.
What worked and what didn’t.
For the most part, many of the contributors are ‘normal’ writers (if there is such a thing) who are getting up every day with the goal of writing something better than they did the day before.
A sample: three stories
I skimmed through the book and picked three stories that spoke to my journey as a writer.:
A Change of Direction
Sophfronia Scott talks about how a business helping people write their books was making her put her own novel on the shelf—indefinitely. How realizing that she was not honoring her talent changed her mindset and list of priorities, which resulted in her doing something she had always wanted to do: enroll in a master’s program to get an MFA in creative writing.
Stretching Forward, Reaching Back
Shawnelle Eliasen tells a sort of pay-it-forward story about the value of writing mentors in her life and the joy of turning around and helping newer writers find their way. So while writing can feel like a solitary activity, we need each other very much: for validation, for encouragement and maybe just to make an observation or two on the writing life that our spouses or partners would never understand.
Treat the Rectangle Carefully
Suzan Moyer compares the vulnerability of a sixth grader taking risks with her writing to the fragility of grown writers —that we all have a hard time separating the work from ourselves. A good lesson in learning how to tell a writer about what works in their piece and not just what needs to be fixed.
Chicken Soup for the Soul: Inspiration for Writers is not going to solve all of your problems, nor was it meant to. But what it does quite nicely is give you a little nudge—actually 101 little nudges—to get you on your way. It made me recognize, again, that we are all in this together. That we all struggle from time to time. That we all have our days when we hit the wall.
Want a chance to win a copy of the book?
Okay. All you have to do is leave a comment under this post, answering this question:
What is the most inspiring book you have ever read and why?
It could be a book on writing, on creativity, on personal development, on business. It could even be a fiction book that taught you something about yourself—and life.
I’ll pick one comment at random and the winner gets a copy of Chicken Soup for the Soul: Inspiration for Writers. (If you win, I’ll need a mailing address, because it’s a paperback copy.)
If you don’t think you could use this book, perhaps you’d like to enter and give it to a writer friend. Oh, and if you don’t win, you can order the book on Amazon.
That’s it. Just one short comment and you are entered in the contest. Deadline for your comment is Friday, July 5, midnight, Pacific Standard Time. Winner will be announced Monday, July 8.