A.E. 's Reviews > This Is Not a Writing Manual: Notes for the Young Writer in the Real World

This Is Not a Writing Manual by Kerri  Majors
Rate this book
Clear rating

by
3562237
's review

it was amazing

To say that this book is "fantastic" and that it should be compulsory reading for all aspiring writers would not be doing this book justice. The author, Kerri Majors, although she has published this book, and several short stories, essays, and other publications as well as holding an MFA in Creative Writing and starting up the publication YARN, is, like so many of us, waiting for the book deal for her fiction to come through. Of course, it helps that she has an agent who believes in her and is working hard to make that happen, but regardless of that, she has suffered and survived the trials and tribulations we all have.

The funny thing is that I asked myself whether I would have liked to have a book like this when I was in high school and had just started writing, but the more I thought about it the more I realized that right now is the time that makes the most sense for me to have read this book because I am in a position where I am open to listening and to learning whereas before, when I was younger, I may not have been as receptive to the helpful and necessary messages contained within this book.

In a sea of writing manuals and prescriptive "how to" guides that promise to improve x y and z for writers of all stripes, some of which are, of course, wonderful resources, it's so necessary to have a book like this on one's shelf no matter what age a writer is. It's not about "do this" or "do these exercises" or "do this homework" or anything of that nature. It's an examination of a writer's life and some of the valuable lessons she has learned along the way delivered in an honest, sincere, and well put-together volume. She also discusses the ever-important topics of what holds writers back, how we can sometimes be our own worst enemy, those two well-worn companions--jealousy and envy, hatred and angst aimed at others, self-loathing, etc. Although some of the chapters have been rewritten from pieces that have appeared online and elsewhere previously, where she acknowledges them, every chapter has something new and insightful to offer readers. It's also practical advice--you won't find any airy fairy, "head up in the clouds" type of advice. And unfortunately, some of the advice we get from others particularly when we're younger does apply, and it turns out they're right on a few counts, but I think a lot of writers will feel all the better for having read this book.

This is the kind of no-nonsense, non-pandering, non-head-patting book about the writer's life that I have been waiting to read for a long time.
3 likes · flag

Sign into Goodreads to see if any of your friends have read This Is Not a Writing Manual.
Sign In »

Reading Progress

February 23, 2014 – Shelved
March 19, 2014 – Started Reading
Finished Reading

No comments have been added yet.