Just a quick post this week as I’m doing the great catch up and writing like a maniac.

Despite the endless writing, I’ve managed to squeeze in a few how-books lately that I found particularly inspiring, The last one is actually responsible for me getting my ass back in gear and writing lots–but more on that in a second.

Wake Up and Live! — Dorothea Brande

This book was first published in 1938, and the stilted, multipart sentences reflect that.  But don’t let the old-fashioned style deter you–this book delivers the goods.  Brande writes with crystal clarity, and this motivational book is aimed squarely at writers.  Much of what she described was exactly the issues I’ve faced myself.

Dorothea Brande was labelled a fascist, later in her life, and some of those inclinations show through in this book.  She dismissers “knitters” as beneath notice, for example. 

But if you ignore the occasional archaic moral observations, there’s good value to get out of the book.

[link to book]


Becoming a Writing — Dorothea Brande

I mention this one along with a big caveat.  The book is out of print and also (if I’ve counted my fingers correctly) out of copyright.  It appeared in print in 1936, two years before the book I mentioned above.  Brande’s style is the same in this book–judgmental, but crystal clear and eerie the way she nails the issues writers face.

The caveat is to be wary of which copy of the book you buy.  My copy was not well edited.  There were typos all over the place, that even a decent spelling & grammar checker could have picked up.  There were so many I stopped reading about three chapters in.

If you can acquire a clean copy, you should find the book useful.  But because I couldn’t find a copy I trusted myself, I’m not linking to the book here.  There are many different editions available. 


The Slight Edge — Jeff Olson

This book has been on my ereader for months.  I’m not sure what made me crack it open and start reading it, but I’m very glad I did.

I’m sure a lot of what Olson talks about will filter through onto the PIFW site over time.  For now, as I mentioned above, the book was responsible for pulling me out of the dark drain I’ve been in recently and got me back to my old writing schedule (9K a day).

It’s THAT good.  Give it a try.

Note:  There does not appear to be an ebook edition on Amazon — only paperback and hardcover.  Kobo and others do have the ebook, though.

[link to book]

Have a great writing week!

t.