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The Pocket Muse: Ideas and Inspirations for Writing
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The Pocket Muse: Ideas and Inspirations for Writing

4.01  ·  Rating details ·  1,081 ratings  ·  64 reviews
The Barnes & Noble Review

Sparkling with delightful, witty, thought-provoking morsels for today's writers, Monica Wood's dreamy yet realistic writer's companion will encourage your muse to take flight. The stimulating visuals laced throughout the book uniquely capture the essence of the literary imagination and provide salve for the writer's soul.

Wood delves below


Paperback, 256 pages
Published July 15th 2004 by Writer's Digest Books (first published 2002)
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Average rating 4.01  · 
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 ·  1,081 ratings  ·  64 reviews

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Annemieke Windt
Dec 23, 2012 rated it really liked it
My collection of books with prompts on writing started when I taught Writing at the institute I work at. The Pocket Muse by Monica Wood is one of those books and it's one of the most fun books in that department that I own. It's the combination of the design, the variation in prompts, quotes on writing by famous authors and small assignments Woods gives the budding author.

One of the prompts in the books set my off on a small adventure of my own. I read the prompt: ,,Imagine a coat. I
Dec 28, 2016 rated it really liked it
This is extremely easy to simply pick up and read cover-to-cover when you feel like it. While I haven't yet used it for the prompts themselves, it's certainly a great way to get you thinking about writing again and perhaps lift you out of any writing funks you may have fallen into. But even for someone who isn't currently seeking inspiration with writing, it definitely provides that little fuzzy feeling. The author makes you feel like you CAN and SHOULD do it. And while some of the prompts do se ...more
Jan 03, 2012 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: People with ADD.
Recommended to Cornelius by: The jerk from the library.
A lot of books on writing tend to at some point centralize on the author and how awesome he/she is. This book does not do that. Rather, the author keeps it random and just posts random thoughts throughout the book that are for the most part useless.

I highly recommend this book for prospective writers with ADD. That's about it.
Marie’s Book Boutique
Oct 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
To read full review at

This little book's front cover reminds me of the old plain note book's you used to get. With the thick black line covering the spine of the book. The rest of the cover is coloured in a darkish green. The title is in what look's like those name tag's on draws you used to get at the library years ago when looking for a book to find its location in the room. Then there is a photo with a guy facing forward holding up a card which has the rest of the title in it. You c
Jul 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Whether you are a published author or someone like me, who writes a lot of fanfiction and the occasional original work, or even just an avid lover of words, this book is a must-own. It's written is such a reader-friendly way - you can feel free to open the book to any page and get some inspiration, but it's also great to read cover-to-cover. It just makes me want to write whenever I read any of it, and that makes it invaluable. Monica Wood's writing advice is compassionate, but real.
Curt Bobbitt
Jan 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: teachers of students at any level
This sturdy hardbound, unpaginated collection of ideas for writing has high quality glossy pages. Black-and-white photographs, quotations, fill-in-the-blank ideas, word lists, and explicit advice for revision prompt any kind of creative writing.
Feb 23, 2013 rated it liked it
Monica Wood has put together a mash-up of various writing prompts. Some are photographs, some are questions, some are scenarios and all are aimed at helping you get through your writer’s block or giving you ideas for new stories.

This volume is pretty helpful, as far as these types of books go. There aren’t any page numbers, which can make it hard (if you’re using it in a class or something) to keep track of certain prompts you need or might like.

A lot of the prompts are f
Mary Jo
Oct 09, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Borrowed this little pocket book from the library, along with several other writing books. It sat on my desk, then my bookshelf and finally made its way to my bag where I found it one day during my lunch break. I'm so glad I gave this little book a read. I flipped through the book, marking pages, taking notes, mostly prompted with ideas and scribbling happily in my notebook. It gave me energy. It gave me excitement for words and characters and conflict and the whole pulse of writing that had gon ...more
Jun 30, 2011 marked it as to-read
Shelves: writing
Pooh-pooh to the lack of page numbers. Bucking that convention does not promote creativity which is the only reason I can think of for their omission.

What it DOES do is make it a headache when I am trying to locate specific exercises or recommend one to a friend. What should I say? "Do the exercise after novelty chattering teeth picture but before Robbie the Robot?" It's maddening.

Other than that, it's only a mediocre prompt book. Nothing special. Mostly pictures and fluff. And whil
Oct 30, 2011 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: those who write
Recommended to jmjester by: found it at Borders a few years ago
Shelves: non-fiction
I bought this a while ago, but never got around to reading it. I pulled it off my shelf in anticipation of NANOWRIMO, thinking my students and I might need some help throughout the month. We will definitely turn to this book when both our word counts and will power are waning. It's a super quick read with lots of white space and gorgeous, thought-provoking photographs. It's meant to be dipped into with advice on both generating prose and poetry as well as revising it. I can't wait to see how it ...more
Patti K
Jan 12, 2012 rated it liked it
3.5 stars. This is the kind of thing you own as a writer, so I will probably purchase it someday and use it much more than I did while borrowing it from the library. Lots of writing prompts, suggestions, etc, to help you get going, get unstuck or find a way to look at your writing in another way. I mostly got it from the library because I wanted to know if it would be worth buying. The answer is yes.
Nov 18, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Writers, artists, creators
I have started this book many times, but I have finally read it all the way through. I found myself surprisingly pleased with it. It was both instructive and inspirational. I would recommend it for any writer or would-be writer who wants a little push, or a little pull; Ms. Wood works well in both directions. Some people may find it a little pricey for what it offers, but I got it back when it was $13, rather than the double-sawbuck it currently sells for.
Trisha Williams
May 20, 2012 rated it really liked it
writing prompts are scattered through out the book mingled with advice for writers and topped of with her personal writing and teaching experiences. The useful messages and prompts never exceed the length of a single page so you don't feel weighed by a lecturer. she drops her little gems and then moves on to something else when you turn the page.
Jan 01, 2009 rated it it was ok
Cute book, but I doubt that it's worth the asking price. There are certainly cheaper ways to find prompts, and aside from the little quotes and occasional bits of useful advice, it really doesn't offer anything that you can't already find elsewhere.

I suppose that it might make a nice gift, at least.
Edna Wallace
Jan 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: books-on-writing
According to the notation on an inside page, I picked The Pocket Muse up in 2003. It's still one of my favorite books to thumb through when I'm facing a blank page and casting about for some place to start. It's also fun to open a page when in a writing group, pick a topic, and write for fifteen or twenty minutes.
Jan 09, 2013 added it
There are only two of these Pocket Muse books....they are amazing! Anyone who writes should get these little pocket sized books. They are full of prompts, pics, and inspiration when you are having writers block. I love them. Debi
Paul Smith
Nov 20, 2015 rated it really liked it
An inspiring and interesting book for writers of any genre or type, whether it is the amazing images or the advice - both useful and thought-provoking. Cannot recommend this writerly inspiration highly enough.
Apr 11, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Writers
Some really great ideas for both the craft and when to start an idea. Loved the photos, loved her voice, loved her story. I really have this next to me all the time now. I want the second one! Anyone seen it?
Apr 19, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: writing
Cute book full of writing prompts to help writers free their creativity. We once used a few of these in a writers' group of mine, but I didn't find too much use for it on my own and sent it to a friend who needed help with her writing.
Jun 10, 2014 rated it liked it
As the title says; "Ideas and Inspirations for Writing".

This is a nice little book for those (authors, columnists, bloggers, etc.) who often encounter writers' block. Just flip to a page at random, and you've almost immediately got yourself something to think of, and subsequently write about.
Dec 12, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Writers
Shelves: writing
My first read through of this book cover to cover took less than an hour. It serves it's purpose well. I have several small ideas for stories now that I may or may not work on. The point is it was inspiring without being overpowering.
Jul 19, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Not really a book you sit down and read through but it is full of wonderful prompts and ideas for writers. This is another well used book in my collection. I can't thank my Dad enough for gifting it to me.
Dec 28, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: writing, 2010
This has some good writing prompts and advice.
Ksenija Popović
Jul 27, 2012 rated it really liked it
Cute. Inspiring sometimes.
Aug 03, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: wordy
Good for brainstorming and writer's block.
Rebecca N. McKinnon
I read this book awhile ago, working through many of the prompts, but I didn't update my Goodreads until now. Highly recommend!
Jun 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Really like this for writing prompts and inspiration
D. Carson Davis
Sep 20, 2016 rated it really liked it
It's exactly what it claims to be. Little bits that help shift your thinking in hopes of jarring your mind out of writers block.
Angela Kirby
Sep 23, 2008 rated it really liked it
This has some great ideas an inspiration.
Jessica Furtado
Feb 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing
A writing guide worth adding to your arsenal of inspiration. As a young writer, I found that many of the suggestions and springboards in this text proved to be valuable fodder for the imagination.
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Monica Wood is the author of four works of fiction, most recently The One-in-a-Million-Boy, which won a 2017 Nautilus Award (Gold) and the 2017 fiction prize from the New England Society in the City of New York. She also is the author of Any Bitter Thing which spent 21 weeks on the American Booksellers Association extended bestseller list and was named a Book Sense Top Ten pick. Her other fiction includes Ernie’s Ark and ...more
“There is no such thing as wasted writing.” 6 likes
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