Book Review: The 7 Steps on the Writer's Path

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Book Review: The 7 Steps on the Writer's Path

Postby Wordtrip » Mon Dec 29, 2003 6:14 pm

The 7 Steps on the Writer's Path: The Journey from Frustration to Fulfillment by Nancy Pickard and Lynn Lott

As with most writing books I've read lately, I picked this up from the library on whim (judging a book by its cover and all that). And as with the last few I picked out that way, I loved it. The book is written like a self-help/writing book with advise on the psychology and motivation of writing and less on the practical ins and outs of the process. The approach is much like a 12 step program, but with only 7 steps since we writers don't have attention spans as long as alcoholics and drug addicts.

The 7 steps are Unhappiness, Wanting, Commitment, Wavering, Letting Go, Immersion, and Fulfillment. The descriptions of the steps are quite interesting and I think I've been on a few steps at once before. The only drawback I found with the book was that, while it gave some advice on the progression to the next step, it didn't feel to me like it was giving me as much "ammo" as I would have liked. But since one of the first steps to growing is to acknowledge and recognize the issue, I guess they did a pretty good job at that.

The book has little quotes about writing and other various things running through the margins, which is a very nice touch, though I get distracted by them and read the book much slower because of them. Some of my favorite bits from the book are:
In the section on Commitment: "There's a reason that it takes a whole lot of passion and commitment to become the writer you've always wanted to be. And that reason is that writing anything beyond easy little personal ditties involves hard work, and not everybody's willing to take that on."
From the section on Wavering: "Another clue to the fact thatyou're wavering ist eh appearance ofthe dreaded 'yes, buts.' Yes, I'd like to write, but I don't have the time. ... Yes, I wrote a first draft, but I hate to rewrite. ... Yes, I'm sick of journalism and I want to write a novel, but I've got to earn a living. "

So... I feel quite empowered by having another view of the struggles I go though. I also feel quite guilty when I read them telling me that my actions tell where my heart is and it's not always with writing... but then they also tell me that much of that is a symptom of other steps... so I guess I'm ok, just a slacker. I think this is a definit borrow from the library at LEAST. I personally am going to keep my eye out for a copy to keep in my personal library as I think it will do me good to review the subject once in a while as I struggle along the writing road.


Good recommendation

Postby angel1004 » Sun Feb 08, 2004 1:38 pm

Just wanted to say thanks for this good recommendation. I can always use some more motivation to write!

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