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Love Letters to Writers: Encouragement, Accountability, and Truth-Telling

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In 52 personal, vulnerable letters, writer Andi Cumbo-Floyd shares her personal experiences of the writing journey, offers her perspective on the writing life, and shares encouragement to help writers through the hard and the joyous days of being a writer. The letters cover everything from what it feels like to sign a book contract to the times writing draws out emotion we didn't realize to the need for space in our daily lives. The letters are intimate and honest, each written with love for the writers Cumbo-Floyd holds dear.

209 pages, Paperback

First published November 14, 2017

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About the author

Andi Cumbo-Floyd

20 books173 followers
I’m a writer, an editor, a cross-stitcher, and a reader.

I write books about writing, magical realism for middle grade and young adult readers, and cozy mysteries as ACF Bookens.

My husband, adorable toddler, three dogs and three cats have the gift of living in Virginia's beautiful Blue Ridge.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 41 reviews
Profile Image for Becca.
Author 6 books15 followers
October 6, 2017
These short, inspirational pieces are truly “love letters,” to writers - or anyone pursuing a creative calling. Andi Cumbo-Floyd blends practical advice about setting goals and creating effective routines with heart-felt wisdom that inspires courage and imagination. Her warm, personal writing style invites confidence and invokes a true spirit of companionship and compassion. The book is set out in 52 short “letters,” each of which is the perfect way to jump start your imagination and propel you to the page. I predict this will be one of those books I keep close at hand on my desk to dip into whenever I need an extra shot of inspiration.
Profile Image for Lisa.
461 reviews23 followers
November 6, 2017
Love Letters to Writers is an encouraging book to keep on hand for the days when you doubt yourself, your writing, or your path as a creator. Andi urges writers both to “keep going” and “wait,” to lean in to the changing seasons of a creative life. This grace-filled book is full of me-too moments.
Profile Image for Jacinta Meredith.
376 reviews4 followers
June 2, 2020
Such a great book! It was so inspirational and encouraging, and it really feels like the author knows all my internal struggles as a writer and how to deal with them.
Profile Image for Teresa Kander.
Author 1 book177 followers
October 4, 2017
An easy to read book of short letters to writers. The letters are called "love letters" as they are full of encouraging words to get writers through those times when life and/or your writing are getting you down.

There is some advice, such as how to build your "platform," but it's more about growing in self-awareness. The author asks questions that help you dig deep, think about your writing, and most importantly, not to compare yourself to other writers.

This is a resource I will pull out and read over and over again to keep myself motivated. Many thanks to the author for writing such an important book!
Profile Image for Shawn Smucker.
Author 22 books448 followers
November 6, 2017
Kind, honest, encouraging - this book is Andi Cumbo-Floyd at her very best. Highly recommended for any creative person looking for a gentle voice to lead them onward.
14 reviews1 follower
October 3, 2017
A small book of short chapters that are each a "love letter" to writers, this book is not an advice book so much as a book to raise self-awareness of the many aspects of personality and circumstances -- of life -- that constitute being a writer. Although primarily written for those who identify as, in some sense, "professional writers", this easy-to-read book can be enjoyed by anyone who finds that they want to, or have to write - fiction or non-fiction, poetry or prose, for work or pleasure, or for the pleasure of working as a writer. There are some very practical letters -- such as advice on building a "platform" -- but there are many more letters of encouragement and simple sharing. "So this week, my friends, I encourage you to ask Why? about something or someone you encounter and then let yourself sink deep into the wondering." #loveletters2writers
112 reviews
October 3, 2017
Like talking with a good friend. Inspiring and honest. I like that there are questions to get you to think about your own writing, how to grow and not compare. Helps a writer to be honest first with her/him self and then be able to give that honesty to the reader. Andi doesn't ask you to be like her and she does not push an agenda. It's just an honest, friendly open conversation through letters to help you be the best at your writing, your way.
Profile Image for Shelly Mendenhall.
58 reviews2 followers
May 18, 2019
Inspiring and encouraging

Andi’s best work to date. This book is what I call a “writer’s devotional “ although the author doesn’t share much direct scripture. She encourages you to get up and just do that thing you were called to do. Especially to write.

She reminds the reader that writing is a skill that needs to be perfected by practice. Lots and lots of practice. Furthermore, she allows you to let go of the notions that you must do so at certain times of the day, and that you should create your practice. But then stick to it.

Andi also gives you grace and space to call yourself a writer and not to feel it’s wrong to want and hopefully- make a living at it. There is no shame in that. Just a totally awesome book.
Profile Image for Suzanne.
211 reviews18 followers
November 14, 2017
When I received an advance copy of this book in exchange for an honest review, I was excited to delve into it. When I was halfway through, I pre-ordered another copy, because I could already think of four people who would love it. I am so happy this book is out in the world! This has become one of my favorite writing books. The kind, gentle wisdom of her letters is the perfect antidote to the frustration that often comes with writing consistently. A unique blend of practicality and encouragement is the backbone of this book, and there's something here for writers of all levels.
Profile Image for Sherrey.
Author 7 books40 followers
November 10, 2017
Between the covers of this book are held 52 letters filled with the encouragement, accountability, and honesty of one writer to other writers. Andi Cumbo-Floyd writes with a wide ranging stroke that allows beginners as well as seasoned writers to find these love letters incredible sources of inspiration and support. It is not often that a book on writing leaves the writer feeling as though a best friend has come alongside to support you in all phases of your craft. Andi's warmth of spirit and love for the written word lights up each page and will in turn be available to the writer each time he/she picks up this lovely collection. I know I intend to keep my copy close at hand with gratitude to Andi.
Profile Image for Angie.
715 reviews13 followers
November 9, 2017
Sitting down to read a letter from Andi is so comforting and powerful. For the last couple of years, I've gotten her emails on writing. Having her letters compiled into this book makes it easier to access and to refer to as time goes on. Her writing is a comfort as well as a nudge to get going. I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in writing.
Profile Image for Dorcas.
Author 8 books15 followers
November 3, 2017
Most books about writing stress me out. They tell me everything I should or should not be doing, and I usually feel like a failure by the end of it. Love Letters to Writers is different. Cumbo-Floyd offers gentle words of encouragement, affirmation, and hope--along with practical advice that you can keep or discard. She covers all aspects of the writing life, from the external writing drafts and marketing to the internal self-doubt we all wrestle with. I'd highly recommend this for any writer who is struggling or just needs a little extra encouragement.
Profile Image for Virginia.
12 reviews
October 27, 2017
This is a lovely set of encouragement letters for writers! She touches all kinds of issues facing professional writers, but the book can be read by anyone interested in the ins and outs of writing. She's gracious, encouraging, and loving with an occasional kick in the pants (gently put, of course)! And I haven't started yet on all the great quotes!

Here are some of the quotes to entice you to get the book!

That rigid "get it right the first time" mindset can silence writers quicker than almost anything.

I publish, even when it makes me squirm, and along the way, I have found that squirming is a good thing.

Practice literary citizenship. Share what others write. Buy a book. Send a tiny note to say, "Keep going.”

The questions that drive you, call you forward, those are the ones we write into because there's life there.

When we give fear a bit of ground, it encroaches until it takes over our words and silences us completely.

@andilit #LoveLetters2Writers
Profile Image for April Yamasaki.
Author 15 books47 followers
October 27, 2017
I appreciate the breadth and depth of these letters that speak to both beginners and more experienced writers alike. Topics include motivation, moving forward, marketing, and much more. The author's experience and personal warmth shine on every page. Dip into this collection for a writing break and word of encouragement any time.
1 review
October 7, 2017
By being honest about the details of her journey, Andi Cumbo-Floyd gives us the courage to open our eyes and see the details of our own. Andi is this amazing mix of love, truth, humor and talent; someone with so much wisdom to share, so much care and kindness motivating her to share it, and such writing skills to get that wisdom from her experience into my mind, into my heart. ‘Love Letters to Writers’ is a treasure for any writing community, for any writer. And, especially for writers who find themselves wandering in a desert, this book will be your oasis, an oasis seasoned with laughter. Read it. Try it. Drink!
Profile Image for Debra Smouse.
Author 4 books32 followers
October 29, 2017
The number one thing I need as a writer - outside of my pens, journals, and computer - is the reminder that though I write in solitude, I am truly not alone.

In Love Letters to Writers, Andi Cumbo-Floyd provides a gentle mix of compassion and discipline to encourage writers to continue to come back to the page. There are deeply honest truths - especially about the discipline and accountability parts - yet they are all said in a loving way to encourage and never shame the writer for not having "perfect" habits for their writing life.

Love Letters to Writers can be read all at once or as a contemplative companion, savoring one essay a week.

This will be one of those books I return to time and again. Especially when I am needing a shot of inspiration - or full permission to tend my writing life in my own imperfect way.
182 reviews62 followers
October 30, 2017
I love reading Andi's books and words to writers because I feel like she's speaking directly to me. Sometimes I squirm, but I know everything she says, she says out of love and encouragement for me to get my words flowing. I'll have a paperback and Kindle copy, so it will be right beside me always.
Profile Image for Bethany.
880 reviews22 followers
February 17, 2018
Highly readable, snippets from a mentor I’ve never met. In my (electronic) version all the links were broken. But the content made up for it.
Profile Image for Molly.
Author 7 books35 followers
November 8, 2019
I have followed the author's blog since in 2009. We share similar book tastes and writing interests. I enjoyed reading about her journey from College Writing Professor to published author. She shares the struggles as well as the joys, and she gives me hope that one day I might do the same.

When offered the opportunity to read an Advanced-Copy of her recent book, I did not hesitate to take advantage. From the first chapter to the last, I felt as though the author wrote the letters for me alone. Her sincere compassion for the writer is evident. Her gentle words express encouragement and empathy without letting us off the hook. Writing is hard work. It requires discipline, practice, and a tough skin. The author understands these struggles and provides valuable insights to help us persevere.

Writers work in solitude and often feel like an island unto ourselves. This book helps us realize we are not alone. We can take comfort in knowing others have navigated these waters before and they are willing to help us wade through to the other side. This collection of love letters provides hope for a weary writer's soul.
Profile Image for Katie Andraski.
Author 2 books7 followers
November 14, 2017
Andi Cumbo-Floyd’s Love Letters to Writers could become a self-published writer’s classic in the same league as Bird by Bird because it is practical, wise and written from experience. Cumbo-Floyd has the authority to offer advice, encouragement and love to writers because she is making a living as a self published writer. Making a living. I would imagine you know how hard that is. She coaches other writers and she has self published such books as Steele Secrets, Charlotte and the Twelve, The Slaves Have Names and Discover Your Writing Self.

She affirms the writer’s desire to make money, saying there is nothing wrong with this desire. I know I have been conflicted about this and recognized myself when she wrote “I don’t want a bigger audience. Here’s what she says, “So my dear beloved writers, please stop believing you need to be a staring artist. We don’t believe that Toni Morrison or Kevin Kwon shouldn’t make a living at what they do. If we don’t believe that for writers we admire and love why in the world would we believe it for ourselves.” She is right, that without money we wouldn’t be able to put our books into the world.

To write those books we put into the world, Cumbo-Floyd urges writers to live each day into the practice of writing. She writes between 7:30 and 9:00 am and offers ideas on “routines and rituals that give me life.” She says simple things like “a candle lit on my desk. A new page of the Farmer’s Almanac calendar read and reminding. The standing desk Philip made me ready to go. 1,000 words there through my fingers” sustain her, help her live into the “unbearable lightness of being.”

She writes about the choices we make in order to make space for our creative work. “So I share that today that sometimes we find the time to write by turning off the TV or shutting down Facebook. Sometimes we find it by saying NO to things we don’t really want or need to do. And sometimes, we find it by saying NO to things we really love and care about at least for a time.” She writes about how finding balance is an active process like sitting on an exercise ball, where we adjust ourselves constantly to stay upright. She says, “There is no magic formula, no one-size-fits-all writer’s hat, no ‘right way’ way. There’s just your way…your way for today.”

Chapter titles include “Publishing Books Makes Me Uncomfortable, But That’s Okay,” “Leaning into What We Cannot Control,” “The Angsty Relationship of Writing and Sales” and “When We Feel Guilty for Writing.” These are things I wrestle with as a writer. It is comforting to read Cumbo-Floyd’s resolutions with these things. Love Letters to Writers is sure to be a classic because of how deeply encouraging and wise it is.
Profile Image for Patricia.
11 reviews
November 14, 2017
All writers have doubts from time to time. From that nagging feeling that we're not a "real" writer without a certain set of accomplishments or achievements, to the lonely sense that no one will ever read our words, so what's the point? This book is for every writer who's ever felt unsure, alone or discouraged in their writing. In other words, it's for every single writer!

Andi Cumbo-Floyd shares deeply personal and honest letters to writers and she does so from a place of authenticity. She just plain gets it. What it's like to be a writer, how hard it is, and how isolating it can be. Each of these love letters to writers provides not only encouragement for when it gets hard, but practical ideas that will help raise your productivity and creative processes to the next level.

I already know this will be my go-to book when I need a little nudge to take the next step in my writing life, and one I look forward to picking up again and again.
Profile Image for Carol R..
Author 1 book6 followers
November 14, 2017
Writers, this is the kind of book you'll read twice: Once as a binge read as I've just been doing, because you want to hear what else Andi has to say that makes you think, "So I'm not the only one." And then a second time to savor. Each of the short 52 readings feels like Andi is sharing her life with you while reminding you that your writing time is important and your words are valuable and you need to be true to yourself and move forward bravely. Beautiful metaphors that never feel forced or too clever often drive home an idea. Don't miss the butterflies and wildflowers idea in chapter 14 that will make you feel so much better about marketing your work. Invite Andi to sit down for a chat and write on!
Profile Image for Vibeke Mouridsen.
Author 1 book5 followers
November 14, 2017
As soon as I started to read Love Letters to Writers I felt embraced as a writer. Andi Cumbo-Floyd's wise and vulnerable storytelling about every aspect of writing and a writer's life gives you comfort and encouragement. With great kindness and yet persistence she tells you not to give up when you struggle, but to hold yourself accountable and keep on writing what you need to write.
From the many wise words (and it was a hard choice) I'll mention these from chapter two: "... write wild. . . . big and wild, like a fire." This is what the spirit of writing is about.
You should buy this book and keep it bookmarked or placed very close to your writing space, so whenever you feel lost in your writing life you can instantly grab it, read a bit, and feel hope again.
Profile Image for Vibeke Vestergaard.
Author 3 books6 followers
April 14, 2022
As soon as I started to read Love Letters to Writers I felt embraced as a writer. Andi Cumbo-Floyd's wise and vulnerable storytelling about every aspect of writing and a writer's life gives you comfort and encouragement. With great kindness and yet persistence she tells you not to give up when you struggle, but to hold yourself accountable and keep on writing what you need to write.
From the many wise words (and it was a hard choice) I'll mention these from chapter two: "... write wild. . . . big and wild, like a fire." This is what the spirit of writing is about.
You should buy this book and keep it bookmarked or placed very close to your writing space, so whenever you feel lost in your writing life you can instantly grab it, read a bit, and feel hope again.
Profile Image for Jessica Barmer.
37 reviews3 followers
January 27, 2023
I found myself nodding in agreement and also saying, “I’m not alone!” a lot while reading through Andi’s letters to writers. They indeed are full of love, encouragement, and honest truth from one writer to other writers, with intimate parts of her life woven in, making you want to know Andi more as both a writer and a friend. I still can have a hard time claiming the title of writer, when I have no book or ISBN number tied to my name. However, I know I am a writer. Andi’s letters were just the reminders my writer’s soul needed. Showing that our words written, are overflows of our lives first lived.
Profile Image for Alison Clifford.
Author 11 books43 followers
November 13, 2017
‘Love Letters to Writers’ talks about the realities of a writing life, but in an encouraging, we-can-do-this way. Each letter has ideas, tips, suggestions, and help for not only writing, but living. Andi’s open and sharing attitude can’t help but draw the reader and in to a safe place where we can challenge ourselves, learn, and grow.
This is an outstanding book for writers of any level and experience, and also for those who think maybe one day they too will write. I know I will keep it on hand to dip into when I need refreshment and encouragement to keep going.
Profile Image for Trish Heald.
Author 1 book12 followers
October 25, 2019
I open this book to a random chapter at least once a week to receive guidance and support for my writing journey. Cumbo-Floyd offers a rare and authentic inside look at the emotional and practical challenges that confront writers every day. Her advice is down-to-earth and easy to implement...I love her wisdom about when to take a break: "the grumpy/weepy test." Love Letters to Writers asks deep questions and explains how we can look within to find answers and bring out the best of ourselves as writers. It is a true gem in my library of writing books.
Profile Image for Barbara Stark-Nemon.
Author 2 books63 followers
November 15, 2017
Andi Cumbo-Floyd's Love Letters for Writers is a compendium of the wisdom, kindness, and savvy of the writing and human type that characterize the varied career of this truly special literary citizen. If you like your writing world to include practical, useful information joined with an appreciation for our many differences and vulnerabilities, topped with a good dollop of spirituality and love of the natural world, this is the writing book for you! Grab it!
Profile Image for Marissa.
370 reviews10 followers
September 25, 2019
I love this book so much. It is the most encouraging book about writing/creating I have ever read, bar none. I highlighted SO much on my Kindle edition. This is serious soul food right here.

In addition to being a book for writers about writing, it also reads a little like an epistolary memoir of sorts, and the glimpse into farm life and the day-in day-out struggle of being a creator was just excellent.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 41 reviews

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