"If you want to take your writing to the next level, buy this book…now!" ― Arielle Eckstut and David Henry Sperry , The Book Doctors and authors of The Essential Guide to Getting Your Book Published #1 Bestseller in Writing, Research & Publishing Guides Imagine having your own personal writing life coach and mentor―someone encouraging yet honest, supportive yet empowering, who can help you set and achieve your goals, turn your moments of doubt and fear into sources of strength, and discover what you’re truly capable of when you’re at your best. A motivational book for anyone dealing with writer's block or other writing obstacles. Whether you’re a first-time writer with a brand-new project or a seasoned pro, Kendra Levin’s book will help you do the best writing of your life―and live your best life while doing it. A motivational self-care book for writing aficionados. Using a fresh new approach to Joseph Campbell’s archetypal The Hero’s Journey , Levin reveals how to be a hero in the narrative of your own process. She weaves together wisdom drawn from her years as a life coach for writers and an editor at the world’s biggest publishing house with behind-the-scenes stories from a panoply of best-selling authors and career entertainers. With over thirty exercises designed to help you reinvent your creative process from the inside out, learn how Readers of self-help books and personal development books for writers and creatives like Story Genius , The Emotional Craft of Fiction , The Artist's Way , Bird by Bird , or Big Magic will be inspired and encouraged by The Hero is You .
Kendra Levin is a certified life coach for writers, as well as a children’s book editor, teacher, and author. Since 2008, she has helped writers and other creative artists all over the world meet their goals and connect more deeply with their work and themselves. She has been an editor at Penguin for over a decade. Kendra has taught classes for a range of populations from media professionals to prison inmates. Her theatrical works have been produced Off- and Off-Off Broadway , and her eclectic professional writing credits include celebrity speeches, bar guides, and Mad Libs. She is a regular contributor to Psychology Today. Her home base is New York City. Visit her at kendracoaching.com and follow her @kendralevin.
Hep Kitap'ın takdir ettiğim "Atölye Serisi"nden çıkan, Kendra Levin'in "Sen de Kendi Hikayenin Kahramanısın" kitabını büyük beklentilerle almıştım. Fakat ne yazık ki hayal kırıklığına uğradığımı söylemeliyim. Bir türlü anlattıkları ve anlatım şekli ile uyuşamadım, önerdiği yöntemlerden hoşlanmadım. Öncelikle tüm anlatı yeni bir şey getirmiyor ve tamamen Joseph Campbell'in "Kahramanın Yolculuğu"na dayanıyor. "Kahramanın Yolculuğu"nun içindeki başlıkların altına bir takım hatırları -ve beni en çok üzeni- çok katı metotlarını ve anketlerini koymuş. Sanki yazmak, üretmek ile ilgili her şey bir şablonmuş gibi! Metnin içine yerleştirilmiş sürüyle "müşteri" dediği sanatçının isimlerini değiştirmesi ise "acaba bunları da kendi mi uydurdu?" sorusunu akla getiriyor. Tüm kitap yazarın kendi düşünceleri, hatta puanlama ile kim olduğunuzu ortaya koyacağını söyleyen alıştırmalar üzerine kurulmuş, yapı sallanıyor. Yeni yazmaya başlayan, onu geçtim yazan insanı bile bunca testin (alıştırma diyemeyeceğim çünkü çizgileri aşırı belli, insanı kalıba sokuyor) sıkmaması, negatiflememesi mümkün değil. Tüm kitap hiç hoşlanmadığım "kişisel gelişim" tarzını anımsattı, esinledi bana. Kullanma talimatı okuduğumu düşünmeye başladım bir süre sonra. Yazmayı, sanatı, üretmeyi geçtim; hiçbir insan için aynı şablonun geçerli olduğuna inanmıyorum. Sonuçta kişisel gelişimin mantıkı da yeni sisteme, o çarka uygun şeyleri kendini geliştirmek adı altında benimsetmektir. dışına, insanın gerçeğine çıkarmaz, sistemin, o işin gerekliliklerine götürür sizi. Yoksa sisteme karşı gelirlerdi. Hepimiz İNOVASYON sahibiyiz maşallah. Tüm bu yazdıklarımı yazar ve eseri ile bağlantıladığımı tekrar belirtmeliyim. Hep Kitap'ın bu serisini, vizyonunu çok beğeniyorum. Bu seride şu ana kadar okuduğum en iyi kitap hakkaten Anne Lamotte'un "Bir Kuştan Öbürüne"si oldu.
Son söz kitaptaki bir alıntıdan gelsin: "Timothy D. Wilson, mutlu bir hayat sürmek için üç önemli etmen olduğunu belirledi: Anlam, umut ve amaç. En mutlu ve tatmin olmuş insanların, başlarına gelen şeyleri anlamlandırabilen, iyi şeyler olacağına inanan ve kendilerini, belirledikleri amaçları gerçekleştirmek için yolculuğa çıkmış bir kahraman gibi gören insanlar olduğunu keşfetti. Kendi hikayelerinin baş kahramanı olduklarını düşünenler, "hayatlarını kontrol ettiklerini, kendi seçtikleri amaçları olduğunu, bu amaçlara doğru ilerlediklerini hisseden insanlar, böyle olmayan insanlara kıyasla daha mutluydu."
I have long been the beneficiary of Kendra's wisdom and insight; her questions that cut right to the heart of the matter; and her boundless commitment to helping writers. I'm so glad she now has a book out so that more writers can learn from her. I wish I could give everyone a one-on-one coaching session with her, but reading THE HERO IS YOU is the next-best thing!
There are lots of books and classes out there that teach you how to get published, or how to improve your craft and become a "better writer." But I don't know of other books that teach you how to become a happier, more fulfilled writer, by looking at you-as-writer in the larger context of you-as-full-person. We all struggle with writer's block, or self-doubt, or too many competing commitments and distractions, or jealousy of others' success, and on and on. We all want to create a great written product, but often our process of getting there is so deeply fraught and unpleasant. And that--dealing with the process--is where this book is a life-changer.
Edebiyat tarihi çözümlemesi içinde, hiç ummadığınız bir anda, sevdiğiniz başka bir yazarın -eşi münasebetiyle de olsa- karşısınıza çıkabileceği bir kitaptır. (bkz. Brian K. Vaughan) Tekinsizdir, kördüğümdür, postula durumundadır. Okumayın derim... :)
This book is, in many ways, a sad recycling of other writing books. Although she has some nice ideas and is a "life coach" (!!), so points there.
Instead, consider reading these books written by stronger writers with much more clarity:
Ray Bradbury, "Zen in the Art of Writing" Anne Lamott, "Bird by Bird, some instructions on Writing" Annie Dillard, "My Writing Life" Natalie Goldberg, "Writing down the bones: Freeing the Writer Within"
Writers have so many creative ways of sabotaging themselves... Well, Kendra Levin has your number. And ways to battle the hydras, gorgons, and tricksters that are blocking your writing journey, keeping you from being the hero of your own story.
Nope. Tried the audiobook and didn't finish Chapter 2 before the author's snide asides and comments (perhaps meant for comedy but rang irritating to me) and the narrator's flat delivery made me give up on the book.
In THE HERO IS YOU, Kendra Levin takes a construct we writers are familiar with -- the Hero's Journey -- and applies it to the writing and revising process. The book offers excellent advice and encouragement, punctuated with dozens of anecdotes about real-life writers and their often harrowing journeys. The exercises suggested throughout the book help take each piece from the conceptual to the practical. Highly recommend!
This book would probably be more well-appreciated by those who write non-fiction, because even though some points and exercises are more universal, business writing, in particular, doesn't always fit in with the author's suggestions. That said, there were some helpful nuggets.
I did appreciate reading the reinforcement of my belief that "... the Internet is no replacement for the world IRL [In Real Life]. Online activity doesn't feed all five senses, and even the most emotionally intense web interaction takes place with a buffer between you and the experience" (p. 27). And, I have actually myself (prior to reading this book) used the writing exercise where you create a "packet" to jump-start the writing process, writing down five ideas based on pulled headlines. I related to the concept of writing "Morning Pages" (where you write three stream-of-consciousness pages each morning when you get up), which the author references from the book The Artist's Way, which I read many years ago.
I bullet-journal, so I also connected with the advice to set aside ten minutes of each day to check in with yourself, essentially taking time to reflect quietly away from electronics and other distractions. In the courses I teach, I often reference Csikszentmihalyi's concept of "flow"-- "the feeling of being so deeply immersed in a passionate pursuit that you forget about your surroundings and allow self-awareness to fall away" (p. 79) and appreciated Levin's pointing out that roughly 20% or fewer of us get into this flow state at least once a day.
I love the idea that even in life's most mundane moments and activities, thinking like a writer can elevate that experience. Levin highlights the story of Michael R. Jackson, who was an usher in New York who took what could be thought of as a miserable job and used it to observe theatre-goers. Unfortunately, Levin doesn't spell out who Jackson has become for additional effect. If you want to learn more about him, you can check him out at https://www.thelivingmichaeljackson.com/.
There are some good questions posed around the "seasons" of writing that make for a nice checklist for self-evaluation, such as: "Have you gotten an idea for a new project within the past week? Is part of the pleasure of writing, for you, the feeling of returning to it after an absence? When a new idea comes to you, do you like to start writing right away?..." (p. 133), etc.
Levin makes an important point that writing is not just the literal act of putting new words on paper. It also includes production, research, workshopping, revising, studying the work of others, and pausing to clear your head-- essentially anything that feeds the work.
Having this book is like having my own personal mentor sitting atop my bookshelf—there to provide insight, clarity, motivation and encouragement whenever needed. I’ve read a lot of books about writing for writers and this one absolutely tops my list! It’s not only inspiring, it’s empowering because it provides actionable exercises at the end of each learning segment. Often times a book can be great in theory but the reader is left to figure out how to implement learnings on their own—not the case with this book. There are specific examples, exercises, and practices that give the reader the ability to understand AND apply the information. Genius! The exercises are not only useful, they are revealing. Many “ah-ha” moments in this one!
Levin encourages the writer to explore being a Hero in her/his own writing journey – a topic that was so interesting to explore. As writers we are so focused on our characters’ journeys that we forget (or do we even realize?) about our OWN journey. Exploring a different – more personal – side of the hero’s journey helped me become a more aware, focused, passionate, dedicated and driven writer. I learned how to work with myself and how to strengthen, manage, and nurture the hero within for the betterment of my writing...and my life!
I walk away from this book with a great deal of gratitude for having read it. I highly recommend this book to all writers in all genres!!
Since this book came into my life, i've started to become like a hero of mine. It's like; this book is Dr. Xavier's X-Men Mansion, and you feel safe there and you believe that you'r worth it. You know that you need to work hard, you know that you have to win the battles that you think you can't. And you start killing your demons that whispering that you ain't gonna make it. But YOU WILL actually. And obviously. It's all in that book. Every "God damn but HOW?!" question is answered quite clearly&awesomely! You just have to READ that book so you will understand what i mean.
I can write a "thank you" book about that book. (so would that be a bookception?) Thank you Kendra, thank you for that amazing book. Thank you for making us believing in us and guide the best way possible! <3
I read this with a group as we went through it a chapter a week, taking a week for the mid-book check-in where we actually talked to Kendra via Zoom (congrats on your kid btw!).
While I didn't do all the exercises laid out here, either due to trauma from my past (this issue is one of my own and I really doubt will be others' experience) or because I was super busy that week (happened twice in 13 weeks), the book itself was am amazing book that laid out everything very well. I DO really recommend doing the exercises while you read the book, as you go along, if possible. It really enriched my reading of the book.
The way it lays everything out, especially the Threshold Guardians, was easy for me to understand and understand how to get past them.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Didn't finish as well. Kind of getting to the point where I feel like if it didn't go as smoothly it isn't that worthy. The first part of the book was of some help. Very good psychological techniques, but those are mostly for, you know, general practices. It is great they were included in the writing book, but those can unravel some bigger problems to the fact of the external psychological help, nothing of the reference to it though. Campbell's work is unfathomable. He is a great genius of a kind. But it felt like something was missing -- maybe it was my interest.
Lots of sensible advice from an author who understands what writing is all about, and has a range of experience working with many different authors. The hero's journey approach was a bit laboured for me in places (the steed? really?), but still good advice. I wonder whether the slightly obscure title will miss its target audience. The bottom line is if you want to be a writer you have to actually write, not hope, talk or think about it, and some self-awareness helps too.
An excellent read--motivating and supportive with lots of tools to add to your tool box for becoming the writer you want to be. I really enjoyed how Levin provided lots of research and personal vignettes to allow her guidance to be relatable to the reader. This one is a little bit different than the craft books I've read and that makes it well worth the read.
This is a really good writing companion. I like that Levin goes through the writing process with the lead of archetype characters. I will probably go back to this one for inspiration as I get bogged down in different areas of the writing process.
The gimmick of seeing yourself, the writer, as a hero on the archetypal hero's journey wears a bit think sometimes, but this still has some good advice with specific, real-life examples. I'm definitely going to take note of some of the suggestions in here.
She expounds on how every writer, writing on away on their next masterpiece, is on a hero/heroine journey which is based on myth guru Joseph Campbell's framework. Interesting take on it and useful ideas. Thanks!
I would recommend THE HERO IS YOU as standard equipment to take along on your writing journey. The book can be used as a writers’ compass. It will not only give you direction, but will also get you around and through the many pitfalls that all writers encounter. The book is also packed with great writing exercises. I picked one of my favorites and we used it at my last writers’ critique meeting. We followed a formula for creating our opposites. Not only did it give us a better perception of ourselves, it also gave us a great nemesis to use in any future writing.
Got an advance copy, and I will admit to being a bit biased (those of you who know me will know why), but as someone who's spent a lot of time reading about craft and the hero's journey, I don't feel particularly conflicted in saying this is an excellent book. If you've ever called yourself a writer in any sense of the word and have a story to tell, this book is for you.