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Chapter After Chapter: Discover the Dedication & Focus You Need to Write the Book of Your Dreams
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Chapter After Chapter: Discover the Dedication & Focus You Need to Write the Book of Your Dreams

4.16  ·  Rating details ·  421 ratings  ·  47 reviews
Writing a book requires a focus, a sense of knowing and trusting in yourself and your work. And it requires an unflinching commitment to staying the course. Chapter After Chapter shows you how to build on your good writing habits, accrue and recognize tiny successes, and turn your dedication to the craft into the book you always knew you could write if you could just stay ...more
Hardcover, 242 pages
Published December 1st 2006 by Writer's Digest Books
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Apr 21, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction, writing
This is a real gem of a book!

Sellers look at a writer's life in this book, not at the craft of writing or the technical side of writing. The chapters include the following bits of wisdom:

Writers are not people who have ideas for books: writer's write.

Writers do not have hectic social lives, flitting from one engagement to another: they can manage about one extracurricular activity and the rest of their time belongs to their writing.

Writers do not write "one book": they will write many, many boo
Cindi Shantz
Jun 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This book was a huge help to me. It helped me train myself to write daily and to stick to one project. So important!
Mar 22, 2017 rated it liked it
Not my all time favorite book on writing but has some good suggestions on staying the course to finish your book.
Apr 13, 2020 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, dnf, writing
This book didn't work for me. I think that for the people who it does work for, it will be a great resource. However, something about the writing style rubbed me the wrong way, and I couldn't take the advice seriously. It has a good message at its heart, I think, but too often it was obscured by things that got in the way of the message. ...more
Amanda Rose
May 10, 2018 rated it did not like it
It had a couple useful tips, but honestly, it wasn't for me. I almost DNF'd, but stuck through for any useful advice. It does have a lot of good information at the back about publishing that was helpful, but overall I did not like the author's style and did not find it that helpful. ...more
Jun 07, 2016 rated it really liked it
"Books On Writing" is one of my favorite genres: YES, I know I should be working on my own book, but it's so much more fun to read about how others write theirs! I gravitate toward those that feature practical craft advice over woo-woo hand-holding: more SCENE AND STRUCTURE by Jack Bickham, less WRITING DOWN THE BONES by Natalie Goldberg. Top picks? THE FIRE IN FICTION by Donald Maas; ON WRITING by Stephen King; THE ARTIST'S WAY by Julia Cameron; WRITING WITH QUIET HANDS by Paula Munier.

Oct 17, 2012 rated it really liked it
Heather Sellers is like that friend who tells you what you need to hear, not what you want to hear, but in the friendliest, gentlest way possible. Writing a book is hard and not something likely to fit around the edges of your life. You'll need to sacrifice a bit and make some decisions about how you spend your time and energy.

She also likens writing a book to having a relationship. If you neglect it, it will suffer. You need to pay attention to your book, even if just a little bit, every single
Katherine Clark
Feb 10, 2014 rated it really liked it
This is probably closer to 4 and 1/2. Tomorrow, Feb. 29, I am doing a writing workshop at the South Euclid Branch of the Cuyahoga County Public Library. My topic is "Jumpstart Your Writing." I did the same workshop last year, and it was one of the most popular ones, so I was asked to reprise it. I love doing workshops, so of course I agreed. Whenever I do a workshop like this, I look for writing books I haven't read previously to see if there are new tricks I could add to replace less interestin ...more
Sehar Moughal
Nov 14, 2015 rated it really liked it
This book seems like a very helpful guide to writing. It discusses some of the pitfalls and how to overcome them. At the end of each chapters (33 short chps), there are exercises to try out. I say 'seems helpful' because I have not tried out the exercises yet. I have printed and saved them for later.
Some key messages that triumphed over my short term memory:
-Read a 100 books on the topic of interest before starting to write a book.
-Choose six books and make them your writing companions - annoy
Susan Swiderski
Jun 05, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: writing
This book was semi-inspirational in a cheerleader's rah-rah you-can-do-it sort of way, and it contained some interesting tips and exercises, as well. Still, it wasn't my favorite book on the craft of writing, and I disagree with a number of the author's basic premises.

I believe writing is a personal endeavor, and while her approach has been a successful one for her, I don't think that makes it the best approach for every writer. Certainly not for me. Writing isn't the end-all, be-all of my exis
Dawn Herring
Oct 18, 2013 rated it really liked it
This book is great for those who need encouragement to finish a book they start. I love all of Heather's inside take on the process and her no-nonsense approach to getting 'er done! I appreciate her sense of humor and her tenacity weaved in with her advice and point of view on the subject. I would recommend this to those who have a hard time finishing what they start! ...more
Dawn Malone
Apr 05, 2010 rated it it was amazing
This is in my top five of all-time favorite books on the writing craft. I've used many of her tips, and I've got a dozen or so Post-It notes marking the pages of this book to prove it. I hope she's working on another. Very inspiring. ...more
Kimberly [Come Hither Books]
A writing book about motivation for the long haul, rather than craft, editing, or publishing. Each chapter meditates on something different, so some resonate while others fall flat, but there are strategies enough for most aspiring writers to find value.
Kev Willoughby
Sep 19, 2019 rated it liked it
Loved the Six Wise Guides advice, as well as the chapter on braiding. Any book that offers you at least one takeaway that you can immediately put into practice is a good book. Two are a bonus. The Six Wise Guides advises that when writing your own book, have six books to use as a guide--no more, no less. Three of the six should be books on writing. The other three should be books that you are modeling your work after. The chapter on braiding was about having 3 story lines interwoven throughout y ...more
Dec 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Almost every time I read a really good book about the process of writing I fall in love all over again. This book is one to fall in love with and maybe stay in love forever. Not only does Sellers offer a lot of sound advice for the book writer, she answers a lot of questions have niggled this writer but that, it seems to me, most writers don't often consciously put into words. Such as, how much of my work-in-progress should I be sharing with curious friends and co-workers? I always felt weird ab ...more
Sharon Marie Himsl
Jan 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Happy to find this little book. You could say it's for serious writers only, but curious non-writers considering the profession will gain a full understanding of what to expect. Instructive, author really cracks the whip. Upfront about the challenges writers face. Especially enjoyed the chapter "No One Tells You" on what happens after you are published, and what is expected of the author. I was so clueless when it came to promotion. I now have a resource to refer to, a plan to walk me through th ...more
Silja Paulus
Jan 08, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: creative-writing
This book helped me to clarify my thoughts about the book I am writing. I did do most of the exercises, skipping only the massive ones (like reading 100 books or my entire manuscript). At times, the exercises might seem a bit painful but it is a necessary evil. I'm not sure whether a writer really should give up all other life while working on a book but otherwise this book has some good advice. A meta-level of writing. ...more
Dec 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I've been dipping into this book in short snatches for a long while now whenever I needed a touch of inspiration or insight, pulling quotes, completing exercises, and enjoying the process. I've finally read it completely through, but I know I'll continuing revisiting relevant chapters over and over again. Indispensable for the writer's bookshelf. ...more
Michelle Sonnier
Jul 27, 2020 rated it really liked it
Like many writing guides, this book is a mix of techniques that will work or not work for any given writer. Take what works for you, let go of what doesn't. The useful parts of this book for me were the positioning technique and other techniques to keep the book active in your mind so you don't lose the storytelling thread. ...more
Havelah McLat
Apr 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I like how she share her opinions to help others to be a better writer. Writing is fun, but writing a story is challenging! Again, this book is really helpful and I enjoyed it.
Jeffrey Fisher
May 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I've read a LOT of writing process books, and quite a few motivating ones. This one is near the top of my list. VERY inspiring and useful. ...more
Jessica Morgan
May 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Easy, digestible chapters with information other writing books don't want to tell you. It is realistic and honest without stomping on your hope. It is a good balance. ...more
Stacey Williams
Aug 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing
One of my favorite books on writing of all time! I highly recommend this book to writers for its combination of wit and practicality.
Bish Denham
Apr 17, 2017 rated it liked it
The three stars does NOT indicate this book is poorly written or isn't motivational or wouldn't work for someone else. It just doesn't work for me, perhaps because I'm past the point of needing motivation to write. My needs are much more about my struggle to remain enthused as I revise and edit.

However there are a few exercises that sound like great fun which I will be playing with!
Drew Constance

I love Sellers for her alternating nurturing and boot-camp style mentality to writing. She owns her flaws, explores her strengths and offers some fantastic techniques alongside the essay chapters in the book. Reading her first, Page after Page, though there is a lot of repeated material used here, some parts I questioned whether it was a direct pull from page after page with a few flourishes. That urked me a little, but aided as a good refresher even though I did read them back to back.

I ended
May 05, 2009 rated it really liked it
A coaching guide to take a writer through writing their book.

The author takes the writer through the psychological and technical obstacles to writing a book. Beginning with the mindset, through practical advice (such as reading 100 books), then to help breakthrough the inevitable writing blocks, till finally not giving up on the edit. Chapter by chapter, a different obstacle is examined and a solution proposed. Every chapter ends with an exercise. Most of them are not that helpful, but the ones
Oct 28, 2011 rated it really liked it
This book is quite good! I'll definitely be referring back to it during my time writing. Sellers keeps things interesting and on-topic, and not at all dry, which is a rare quality to find in writing reference books. She tells it like it is, and uses stories of her real life experiences writing, and experiences with other writers, to enhance her points and drive things home.

I should probably have read Page After Page before this book. I'm definitely giving consideration to buying that one now th
Aug 05, 2012 rated it liked it
I wanted to give this book four stars, but there was one major thing that held me back. The author keeps saying things about how people think you can be a writer in your downtime, that you can do other things while being a writer, but you can't. And then later, she says that she does other things, or that you should do other things, and it is contradictory and frustrating.

That being said, she has some really good writing tips that I am definitely going to keep on hand, especially for when things
I found this book a fantastic help when I was working on the second draft of my novel-in-progress.

I was trying and failing to get up even earlier in the morning in order to have a bit more time to write when I was recommended her book. After reading the first few chapters, I found myself motivated to get up when the alarm rang because my reward was to read it, rationing just one short chapter every morning.

I have used a number of Sellars' strategies on and off, am particularly fond of the idea
Jul 16, 2007 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: anyone interested in author's writing
I had read Heather Seller's Page after Page several years ago, so when I saw Chapter after Chapter, I immediately purchased it and had a ball reading it! It's fun, funny and filled with great tips and descriptions about what it takes to write a book - be it the great American novel, a how-to, memoirs, etc. I don't have any plans to write a book but if I were, I'd definitely want this to be my one of my guides and within arm's reach. ...more
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The Insecure Writ...: * Heather Sellers' Interview 5 31 May 16, 2017 11:15PM  

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Heather Sellers has a PhD in English/Creative Writing from Florida State University. She’s a professor of English at Hope College in Holland, Michigan, where she teaches poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction writing courses. She won an NEA grant for fiction and her first book of fiction, Georgia Under Water, was part of the Barnes and Noble Discover Great New Writers program.

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