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The Writing Life: Reflections, Recollections, And a Lot of Cursing

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4.79  ·  Rating details ·  58 ratings  ·  30 reviews
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Published December 10th 2020
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Max III
Dec 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
There is a chapter in this book about a film adaptation gone wrong that made me laugh so much I thought I was going to die. I desperately want to watch the cut Jeff got to see. Anyway. This book is very enjoyable. Highly recommended for writers. Easily one of the more realistic portrayals of a “modern writer”.
Rayne Havok
Dec 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was told once, that I should write more like Jeff Strand, it was said as an insult to my own writing, and I thought, no fucking duh, we'd all be writing life Jeff if we knew how.

Well guess what mother fuckers, now we can. Except, it wasn't really a guide, didn't even include a dotted line to sign your soul away for the knowledge, but it was full of fun shit and loads of swear words.

I guess, if I took one thing from this book, it would be, that at the very least, I swear like Jeff Strand. And
...more
Frank
Jan 01, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
THE WRITING LIFE is a different kind of book on writing. As the title implies (and the sub-title further clarifies) this is a book about Jeff Strands experiences as a writer. Each section deals with different aspects of The Writing Life and are chock full of anecdotes to illustrate the topics at hand. And yes, there's lots of laughs as well.

What I like about this book is that it wasn't a How To Write Books kind of book. Reading about Jeff Strands experiences over the span of his writing career h
...more
Kevin
Jan 14, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I’ve been messing about in the writing world for about 5 years now and I’ve been reading Jeff Strand books since I found Pressure about thirteen years ago. I’ve read most of his adult fiction but never ventured into his young adult stuff. When I seen this book, I knew I wanted to know more about his career. Jeff himself tells you this is not ‘how to write’ book but it gives his experiences of dealing with almost every aspect of the writing life. I found the book to be informative and entertainin ...more
Armand Rosamilia
A funny, sometimes tragic, always entertaining book not only about the ups and downs of a writing career, but honest insight into how things work and sometimes don't work as a writer. His anecdotes and side stories were funny and he let's you into the process of not only how he writes but how he actually wrote this book, too.

Words of wisdom from Jeff Strand is what every author needs... even if I feel like all of the awful people he points out might've been me. Or maybe I'm just paranoid? Yeah,
...more
Crystal O'Leary-Davidson
I love this book. And I've read a lot of books about writing. Yeah, King's ON WRITING, is one of my favorite books. And now I add Strand's THE WRITING LIFE to my list of favorites, shelved next to King. Like King's book, Strand's is an engaging examination of the professional writing life--part memoir and part something else. Unlike King's, Strand's "something else" doesn't focus on craft, but instead *the actuality* of what his life has been like struggling to be a writer and now maintaining be ...more
Richard Martin
Dec 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If 2020 has given us anything this year, it has been a stellar one for non-fiction books about writing horror, whether that be the practicalities, or in the form of a memoir. I previously gave a glowing review to Brian Keene’s brilliant ‘End of the Road’ and, to round out the year that also gave us Tim Waggoner’s ‘Writing in the Dark’, Jeff Strand has gifted us with ‘The Writing Life’ just in time for Christmas.

For anyone new to Jeff Strand, he currently has over 50 books to his name spanning a
...more
Chris DiLeo
Jan 17, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If you know Jeff Strand's work, you know he has a great sense of humor. (He is the author of "Werewolf Porno," so that gives you an idea of his humor if you haven't read his works.) That humor—self-deprecating, crude, insightful, and gleeful—is present on every page of this book. It has to be because much of what he relays are the hardships of a professional writing career: the near-misses, the disappointments, the scathing reviews, the embarrassments, the ceaseless returning to the page, heart ...more
Tim McBain
Dec 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Here's a really entertaining book with some valuable writing advice mixed in. This thing is stuffed with hilarious anecdotes, like some all-time-great level absurd incidents. I laughed out loud at the film adaptation gone ludicrously wrong, the nightmare imposter syndrome convention, the burning cloth at the awards ceremony, and probably hardest at the hippo/llama digression.

All the Jeff Strand novels I've read have been really fun reads, and this foray into non-fiction was no different.
...more
Ann
Dec 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I am acquainted with Jeff and his wife Lynne. My daughter probably knows them better than I do. They are very nice people.
Jeff your book was funny and interesting. It’s hard to believe that the publishing company is in no better shape than it was 20 years ago when Richard wrote A Writer’s Tale. Actually, it seems worse! I am amazed at the similar “bullshit” stories with the editors. Nothing ever changes I guess!
I am now going to reread A Writer’s Tale and refresh my memory. I only read it in m
...more
Paul
Dec 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biography
THIS. This is what they should make students read in creative writing courses so they understand what being a working author actually feels like when you're doing it. Jeff hits the highs and lows of his career and while you're reading it you find yourself saying, "Oh yeah, me too." A LOT. It's a funny, relatable read, and the protagonist is way more likable than that little snot from "Catcher in the Rye" so if it's a toss up between the two, buy this one. ...more
Darrell Grizzle
Dec 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I’ve read many books on writing over the years (starting with “Journal of a Novel” by John Steinbeck, which I read when I was 10 years old). “The Writing Life” by Jeff Strand is by far the most unusual and the most helpful. It’s unusual because it’s not really structured like a linear book; it’s more of a patchwork of anecdotes and advice. The tone is very conversational and full of Jeff Strand’s trademark wit. It felt like talking with Jeff over a barbecue dinner but without having to look at t ...more
Nicholas Kaufmann
Jan 10, 2021 rated it it was amazing
A charming and highly readable non-fiction book about what it's like to be a writer. Author Jeff Strand doesn't offer the reader any how-to-write advice in THE WRITING LIFE (there are plenty of those kinds of books available already) but instead focuses on what to expect once you're published, liberally peppered with his own amusing and often self-deprecating anecdotes. It's a fast, funny read that will have Strand's fellow authors nodding in agreement and chuckling in recognition, while giving ...more
Kevin Kangas
Jan 09, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A lot of books by writers are coming out along this line, as in, not so much instructional on writing as just giving you a glimpse of what life as a writer is for individual authors. I've never read any of his actual fiction--though I have a few that I intend to get to--but he seems like a pretty funny, down to earth guy. Truth to tell, he seems like he might be me from another universe. (we're almost exactly the same age, we write the same way--constantly revising vs plow-to-the-end-and-then-ed ...more
Nathan
Jan 01, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Better than On Writing

Nothing against King, but this is what it's like for most people to try to become or to be a writer, written by someone who didn't get a six-figure advance in his 20s yet still built a successful, satisfying career. Crucial information and hysterically funny.
...more
Alex Wolfgang
Dec 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What an absolute delight. I've never had the pleasure of meeting Jeff Strand, but it certainly doesn't feel that way anymore. As an author at the very start of a hopefully eventually successful career, it was really nice to hear some perspective from a guy who has had a realistic share of ups and downs. I'd compare this to King's "On Writing," but written from a more down to earth perspective. Nothing against King, but it's a little daunting to take advice from a guy who became world famous in h ...more
Lucas M
Jan 17, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Been a big fan of Mr. Strand for years. I actually use two of his YA novels, A Bad Day for Voodoo and I Have a Bad Feeling About This in my 5th grade classroom. So, when I saw that he had a memoir of sorts coming out, I thought, "Why not?"
This was an extremely amusing (I laughed out loud several times, and I usually don't do that with books) and personal take on his life as a writer. There is some advice in here for writers, but it is more of a history of his writing life. He does not pull punch
...more
Todd Smith
Jan 16, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: on-writing
Author Jeff Strand who has written numerous books in the horror genre with many having a humorous take provides insight into being an author.

First, it is not a book on how to write or put together a query letter more of a book on what you might face as your writing career moves along, hopefully.

I liked his insight on the dangers of joining the hierarchy of a writer’s group, the pitfalls he made in publishing, and what he has learned at being a part of horror novel conventions.

Then, the sad reali
...more
William M.
Jeff Strand has been a staple in the horror community for a couple decades now, publishing mostly horror in small press and a few young adult titles in larger, more mainstream houses. Now, with the popularity of self publishing, this talented writer has decided to do things himself and get a larger piece of the pie. I can't blame him, especially since his fans have followed along and now his paydays are more robust.

A couple typos aside (shame, shame pre-readers!), I had a lot of fun with this,
...more
Bryan
Jan 20, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A very interesting look into the mind of Jeff...kinda not really

I never read non fiction. Not never. Rarely. I do like true crime sometimes.
But, I do try to read everything Strand writes and I've had interest in writing for years, like 30 of them. I always think I'm not bright enough because I really suck at grammar, but then I read some free Amazon books and think "I can do that" but I'm off topic now...
Read Jeff's book if you are interested in writing or maybe you're just interested in the li
...more
Tylor James
Dec 23, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you're a writer/author, this will be one of the most fun and relatable non-fiction books you're likely to read all year! Jeff Strand offers many amusing (often hilarious) anecdotes anout writing, publishing, book tours, agents, editors, the early days of e-books, ETC.

Funny, entertaining, and overall inspirational book. Strand gives us writers a comforting pat on the back, and like the title of one of his presentations, encourages us to 'stick with it'.
...more
Brent Lorentson
Jan 13, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A comforting glimpse behind the process

I say comforting mostly because I'm finishing up writing my first novel and this book really helped in a practical way about insecurities of what entails being a self published writer. This is definitely a departure from his other books so if you're expecting scares and blood you'll be disappointed. But for the aspiring writer this is definitely worth checking out.
...more
Julion Soto
Jan 15, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'm 50% done with The Writing Life: I've been dipping in and out of Strand's book to make me feel good. I want this book to last. Jeff is so funny, so tragically funny, so upliftingly funny. I know how this book ends: he becomes a successful writer...but the journey he took is so difficult and wonderful if you haven't lived it, and can safely view it as entertainment--and wisdom. There's wisdom in this book. ...more
Elizabeth Donald
Delightful and useful

Most writing books focus on craft and philosophy, while some focus on the ever-changing business aspects. Strand covers both in a series of anecdotes that are not only hilarious, but useful and practical. I will be recommending this one to new writers as a great view on the author’s life in this weird, wacky time.
Shannon Kauderer
Jan 05, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: on-writing
Really fun book that covers the not so glamorous writing life of those who are still making a happy living off of writing but aren't as crazy famous as Steven King. I burst out laughing a number of times while reading this and got a couple pieces of wisdom between the fun stories too. Absolutely recommend this to other writers! ...more
Robert Saucedo
Dec 24, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed Jeff Strand's THE WRITING LIFE quite a bit - and not just because I get namechecked in it! Strand offers a very witty memoir/look behind the curtain of being a professional author. Inspirational and frightening in equal parts. Strand's hustle is the hero of the book. ...more
Dustin
Jan 04, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Interesting insight into the history of Jeff Strand

This non-fiction, not-quite-memoir book is funny and interesting as Jeff Strand details the craziness that has been his writing career. I enjoyed it quite a bit!
Richard Alan  Scott
This is not a how to about writing but a very entertaining series of anecdotes that exemplify what writers go through. Funny and eye opening. Jeff made me feel good about my utter failures, hahaha.
Stéphane
Jan 17, 2021 rated it it was amazing
A very entertaining book about being an author. Funny and inspiring. I loved it.
Louisa Heaton
Jan 08, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Writing Life (for real)

Fab-u-lous! Laugh out loud moments. Stories that make you nod your head with understanding (if you’re an author, obvs) and other anecdotes that leave you with an open gaping mouth (and that ain’t pretty,so close it, dude!)

Seriously, I will read this more than once. Probably every time I feel like a failure, which is ... disturbingly often.

Highly recommend! (The reading of the book. not the feeling like a failure part)
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1,280 followers
Author of a bunch of demented books, including PRESSURE, DWELLER, A BAD DAY FOR VOODOO, WOLF HUNT, SINGLE WHITE PSYCHOPATH SEEKS SAME, BENJAMIN'S PARASITE, FANGBOY, THE SINISTER MR. CORPSE, and lots of others. Four-time Bram Stoker Award finalist. Four-time Bram Stoker Award loser. Ten-time Bram Stoker Award Master of Ceremonies. ...more

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