Wednesday, July 15, 2015

So, I gotta tell you about this awesome writing guide...

If You Can Talk, You Can Write: A Proven Program to Get You Writing & Keep You Writing, by Joe Saltzman

So let me tell you about this little reading adventure I went on yesterday. While browsing a writerly website, I found out there's a rare chapbook sized collection of essays from an author I greatly admire. After some searching, I found out the book is only available in print as collectors editions upwards of a hundred dollars on Amazon. I can't swing that, so I decided to purchase an ebook edition instead. I googled my brains out and found a copy available for purchase on Scribd, but I'm not a Scribd subscriber, so I paid a fee of $8.99 for 24 hours worth of access, which allowed me to download the essay collection to keep. 

Since the essays were a collective 40 pages, and not as indepth or impressive as I'd hoped, I decided to browse for more books to get my money's worth out of that 24 hour access. Boy, did I ever get it when I stumbled on If You Can Talk, You Can Write by Joel Saltzman. 

This book has been on my Amazon wishlist for a while, so I thought my 24 hours access would allow me to at least check out a couple of chapters to see if this was a book I'd want to purchase for my keeper shelf. I should've known this would end up as a binge read, but whatevs. 

Right away I was drawn in by the author's humorous voice and wise advice. I stayed up reading this book until two in the morning, because it was fun, informative, and inspiring. I couldn't put it down. Yes, I'm saying that about a writer's guide. It's about 190 pages, with a few wise quotes and silly multiple choice "tests" thrown in for good measure. (They're test questions that you can't possibly get wrong no matter what answer you choose. They're a hoot!) Anyway, I really enjoyed this writing guide and will definitely be buying a keeper shelf copy in the near future; I loved it that much. I also gave the book 5 stars on Goodreads. 

Who do I think this book would be best suited for?  Anyone who wants to write, presently writes, or thinks they might want to write. Any author or writer struggling to inject their own personal "voice" into their fiction. The guide is meant to get you "talking" on the page. It's such a smart, down-to-earth concept, I really can't brag on it enough.

Who the book is not for? If you're looking for a hardcore guide to tell you the hard and fast dos and don't dos of writing for publication, this one isn't going to be "rule based" enough for you. You won't find hairsplitting advice for sorting out writing elements: plot, character, setting, etc. Nor will you find any hairsplitting over grammar, or learning to write query letters, find an agent, etc. It's not that kind of book.

If You Can Talk, You Can Write showcases a "progress not process" method of writing that will get your creative juices flowing and your fingers flying over the keyboard. That's the gist of it. It's a fun little book written in a humorous, conversational tone for folks with chronic writer's block (like me), or for those who simply don't know where to start. The author shares practical techniques to get the words flowing. No more staring at a blank wall and saying you have nothing to write about. 

I give the book two thumbs up, and highly recommend it for the creative writing section of any home reference library. 

About the book [taken from]...
When we talk, we tell stories and present ideas rarely with much anxiety. But think about writing something and panic sets in. Overcome this crippling response by learning how to talk on paper. Joel Saltzman tells it like it is with compassion, humor, and the uncommon wisdom of famous writers, artists, and musicians. Based on his popular workshop for the UCLA Writers' Program, this is a program with proven results. You'll discover how to: Conquer the killer Perfectionism, Paralysis, and Procrastination. Silence your inner critic. (Shut up, already. I'm trying to write!) Stop worrying about the rules of grammar. Get inspired when you don't feel inspired. Write with conviction, not apology! This best selling book gives you the daring and freedom to talk on paper without worrying whether it's good or bad or what it's going to be the kind of writing that's creative, energetic and, most of all, truly your own.

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