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Dear Writer, You Need to Quit

(QuitBooks for Writers #1)

4.62  ·  Rating details ·  271 ratings  ·  74 reviews
If you're here, you've likely read more than one book about writing process and productivity before and yet, you're still looking for the "real truth" or the "next big thing." If you've tried other programs, and nothing has worked for you, have you ever wondered why?

This book can help explain the "why."

What this book is not: It is not a list of tips and tricks to get "more
Kindle Edition, 208 pages
Published January 24th 2019 by Hummingbird Books
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Julia Kent
Feb 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A fellow author strongly recommended this book to me, and I am so, so glad. I've read a LOT of non-fiction about business, habits, writing, inspiration - you name it. I'm a HUGE fan of Cal Newport's Deep Work, Greg McKeown's Essentialist, Alex Ping's Rest -- and for authors, Dear Writer, You Need to Quit is now next to (er, in my digital space) them in terms of useful, thought-provoking advice that isn't really advice (and that's good).

Syme takes so many myths and disintegrates them, because ge
Suz Jay
Jan 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
“As a writer, you don’t get stuck in a book because you’re stupid. You get stuck in a book because there’s something off in your system...productivity is complicated.”

Becca takes the “you do you” mantra further making it “you do the best you.” Instead of willy nilly adopting systems and processes that work for other writers, she encourages the reader to dig deep into their personality, environment, platform, resources and patterns to determine what, as an individual, makes a person’s writing pro
Tamara Lush
Nov 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Extremely thought provoking, especially for indie authors. I recommend this for all creatives!
Stan James
Dec 22, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: reviewed
I have read so many books on writing without writing that I feel it's become my official career to write about books about writing.

Dear Writer, You Need to Quit is a good book about writing and manages to put a bit of a unique spin on the usual advice. Instead of addressing story structure, plot, characters and other mechanics, or providing the nitty gritty about finding a good agent or other specifics of the business of writing, Becca Syme instead tackles the things a new or indie writer needs
Keri Stevens
Feb 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: five-stars
First off--Syme does NOT mean for writers to quit writing! She wants us to find our unique style and productivity based on our character traits. I've been absorbing everything I can from her YouTube channel, classes and other books and the difference in my work life has been amazing. If you write, read this.
Dear Becca, thank you for writing this book. Thank you for reminding me that alignment with my own strengths is key. Thank you for urging me to question the premise of things I believe to be true. Thanks for re-iterating what I know for myself to be true but am always tempted to make false--that burning myself out to keep up with the book-a-month writers is only going to lead to misery and failed expectations.

At first, I hesitated to pick this up because it was $9.99 for the ebook. However, I w
Alison Ingleby
Sep 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I often feel that how well a self-help book resonates with you depends on whether you click with the author's voice and how much you need the advice at that time in your life, as much as how good the advice is. For me, it was the right advice, at the right time, in the right - no-nonsense - voice I needed to hear.
Lynn Raye Harris
Jul 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book so much!! Becca is awesome and she really tells it like it is. I've gone on to take two courses from her, and she's helped me figure out so much about how I work. Highly recommended for writers!
Apr 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction, writing
If you're a writer feeling pulled in many directions, stressing over how to write more books faster, or lamenting how your time disappears, this book is a huge stepping stone to discovering what your specific issue is and where to start. It isn't a 10 best productivity tips kind of book. It suggests how to turn inward and see where your own goals don't align with your real life, your personality, and who you are right now.

Where this book spoke to me: I'll just do these things real quick before I
Oct 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
An extremely quick read, and a very useful way of making myself think about what I need to eliminate to make my writing life and business easier. A book written from the heart, far more so than Dear Writer, Are You In Burnout? in my opinion although the latter is also a useful book (in a sense it's the same topic but from a different angle).

Syme's basic premise is that you can only thrive as a writer if you have aligned your writing life with your personality, your behavior patterns, your resour
Michelle Campbell-Scott
Oct 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: writing
The title of this book didn't appeal to me until I watched a few episodes of the author's YouTube channel (QuitCast) & realized what it means. She means you need to quit doing certain things or you're going to burn out.

She is the real deal. She's a writing coach who has been through the mire & knows how to help others out of it. She lists the things you need to stop doing (unrealistic expectations, trying to change everything at once - and much more).

I've been burned out for a few years & didn'
Ramona Mead
Aug 24, 2019 rated it liked it
This is an honest look into what derails writers and how we can navigate that territory. It is more directed toward authors who are self publishing, using Amazon as a platform, and/or believe they should be writing a book a month. This is NOT the kind of writer I am! However, I still found many useful tidbits when it comes to productivity and self-sabotage. I also appreciate the simple fact that this book reminds me I am not alone in my struggles. I liked the core concept of the book, which is A ...more
Jun 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I'm in the throes of drafting a book at the moment and stumbled across Dear Writer... during some procrastination.

In short, this book was a much-needed truth bomb. It's tossed with great kindness and understanding, but man... with chapter titles like "Quit Thinking Facebook is Your Friend," I honestly felt a bit called out and rightly so.

A big part of getting a book written is figuring out how to persist and get it done. That how part is not going to be the same for every writer or for every bo
Zoe Cannon
Mar 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
When I started reading this book, I thought it was just telling me things I already knew. The basic idea is that in order to make your writing process work for you, you need to figure out how your brain works and design your process to match. That's something I've been working on for years - it's why I use very detailed outlines, why I don't try to write in the early mornings, why I don't set hard-and-fast goals unless I absolutely have to. But the further I got, the more I realized that I still ...more
Glenna Maynard
Sep 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book was exactly what I needed to read today.
Jan 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
Highly recommended by another author, and for a very good reason. Her questions, and coaching, really put everything about writing (and productivity) in perspective for me.
Jennifer Bassman
Feb 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Dear Writer, Get This Book

The wisdom in this book is priceless. They are words and ideas to live and write by. You can’t fix what you don’t want to admit, but maybe that’s not really your biggest problem. Instead focus on what you do and have done well - then do more of that. Some does an excellent job of explaining why and how that path leads to bigger, better success.
Nov 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is one of the best non-fiction books I read so far. Not that I've read a lot of non-fiction books, but I've been reading more of them since this year and this one really stood out for me. One of the main reasons this one stood out to me is that something about this book really resonated with me. And I am not even a writer, the target audience for this book, but I do work in this industry as tour organized and author assistant and I am just interested in everything publishing and marketing b ...more
Katherine Owen
Sep 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A book that can positively change your writerly life!

I highly recommend this book because Becca is a straight shooter without trying to sell me her system or her author philosophy. Think of this book as a big 'ol permission slip to do the work the way YOU (the writer) need to do it. I have paid hundreds of dollars more than once for system(s) that do not work for me as a writer. This book is the first one I've read that helped me see that the way I write is not wrong. I have so much gratitude! T
Lisa Wells
Feb 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book isn't about quitting, although quitting is not discouraged. It's a quick read about how "you" can get in the way of your own writing, and what "you" can do to keep that from happening. Much like Seinfeld is a show about nothing, this is a book about something. The something isn't named, because for each of us it is different. But if you read the book with your brain engaged, by the end, you'll have some idea of what that something is for you.
Jun 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Holy shit this book. Gave me a lot of food for thought. I may have to go read parts of it again.

Mainly, I have to accept that if I want different results, I have to put in the work. That's so relevant to other parts of my life not only writing.
Lisa Regan
Oct 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A must read for all writers. Excellent and outstanding. I've signed up for one of Becca Symes' classes. Check it out!
Sep 17, 2020 added it
Shelves: i-own, e-books
Becca Syme was a guest on Rachael Herron’s podcast, how do you write, and she spoke a lot of sense.
I had the book on my wish list (not that amazon Aust has a wish list function - fix that, please Amazon), but I went and made the effort to buy it.
And oh boy. I read a LOT of craft books and that is not what this book is.
Becca uses something I have never heard of before, The Clifton Strengths test. There are 34 evidently and people manifest these in different
A.V. Dalcourt
The book centers around the idea of 'Question the Premise' of your actions & beliefs.
From simple rituals likes: Do you 'really' need that cup of coffee/tea first thing in the morning? (my answer is no, but I do need some liquid and water does a far better job at clearing my brain fog if i want to get started with my day? Yours may differ.)
Do you really need to check your email first thing in the morning? (My answer, especially while abroad, is no. I like to stay on top of my emails for client re
Kate M. Colby
Nov 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
As the author says over and over again, this book does not contain a magic solution or silver bullet to any of the problems writers face. However, she uses psychology and life coaching principles help you identify problem areas and reframe your approach to addressing them. The core idea is that to be a successful writer, you need to have your personality, resources, platform, and environment in alignment with each other and with your writing goals. After reading this book, I checked my alignment ...more
Lori Puma
Mar 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing
If you feel confused about which writing advice to follow, or overwhelmed by all the things that you're supposed to do to be an author, or you've just lost your enjoyment of writing, you should read this book. It can help writers figure out which advice applies to them and how to make decisions that are based on how you do your best work (and not decisions based on what's trendy this month.)

I especially love what Ms. Syme says about how to handle advice from famous writers who say that you MUST
Jan 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Great resource for writers

As a writer myself, I have often questioned the general advice given by most agents, editors, and publishers, advice such as “you have to be on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, write a book a month, etc.” On and on ad infinitum! Although I use some social media and my own website, I find it reassuring that writing is my most important task and is not a mistake. I have fretted at times because I cannot do it all. The author’s emphasis on avoiding distractions is a very libe
Jo-Ann Carson
Mar 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I highly recommend this book for writers who want to take a serious look at why they are writing. It helped me question my goals and align my practice. My epiphanies:
1. I am not aiming to be a 6-figure writer so I don't need to publish a book a month. I need to align what I do with what I want from my writing.
2. I need to stop trying out every system I hear about, like a new dress at a department store. I'll look at them, but if they don't fit me, then I'll wave them goodbye.
For me, this book
Amanda Markham
Oct 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book jumped out from my TBR pile at a time when I really needed it. It wasn’t so much about writing I needed was for a general burn out. And it helped. And it made me see the baggage I needed to ditch.

The concept of alignment is the thread which flows throughout this book. It’s more powerful than any productivity course, book or planner.

I can’t recommend this book enough, not just for writers but for anyone who’s stuck.

No scratch that.

I’m pretty sure just about anyone could pick u
Oct 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Some home truths that made me think

I've been dealing a lot with my writing process (or lack thereof), so I wanted to buy this book and to my astonishment found out that I already owned it.

Process, it's a fickle thing. What works for you, won't necessarily work for me; there is no one size fits all. It's not a magic cure, but it has given me a lot to question and think about how I can take small steps to facilitate my process to work for me and not against me.

Definitely recommend.
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Other books in the series

QuitBooks for Writers (4 books)
  • Dear Writer, Are You In Burnout? (QuitBooks for Writers Book 2)
  • Dear Writer, You're Doing It Wrong (QuitBooks for Writers Book 3)
  • Dear Writer, Are You In Writer's Block? (QuitBooks for Writers Book 4)

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