Serious Writers Never Quit: They Find the Way–A Review

I’ve spent this past week reading and considering the words written in this book by Bryan Hutchinson, owner of the Positive Writer blog and website.

Ever since I found his website, I’ve gained knowledge about my craft through his words and the words of others who have guest blogged and written comments. I’ve also read several of his books with this one being the one most recently published. I’ve found that his books have two underlying themes both of which I’ve talked about on this blog myself and both of which I’m looking forward to specifically relating to this book today.

The first of these themes is about the writing craft itself. I found the book knowledgeable and informative. With chapter and section titles such as “What Serious Writing Is All About” “The Way Is In Every Draft”. “A Draft Is A Process”, “What Readers Want” and “Journaling Is The Way”, how could I not? Since I’m working on a book and journaling each day, it was interesting to gain another perspective on both. Hutchinson discusses the fears and doubts that keep us from writing, and the perception that our writing will never be good enough to release to the world. People with perfectionistic tendencies will relate to this one. For myself, I have been paralyzed at times with continuing a story because I couldn’t think of the words which would make it perfect enough to be published. Imagine the number of unfinished stories sitting on people’s computers and in stacks of notebooks around their homes. So many ideas lost to fear and doubt because we, as authors, didn’t believe in ourselves.

This is solved, Hutchinson says, by adopting something called “The Way” which is simply a mental reset of what you think of yourself and your writing. For those of us who experience symptoms of mental illness as I do, this can be a difficult thing. He talks about how instead of calling the first draft of whatever we’re writing “crap” (which is fairly common) we should label it our best writing at this particular time which we’re going to work on improving. This resonates with me today because I had someone tell me that my writing had improved over the amount of time she had been reading it.

It’s hard to do this though, and something, I think, would need to be done on a daily basis. I say this as someone who experiences depression and anxiety and someone who has had to apply these lessons to her own faith as I’ve also discussed here. It is doable, and I say this as someone who has been a consistent journaler for almost seven years.

When I write in my journal, I don’t feel any anxiety whatsoever. My thoughts and feelings are rich, and I can communicate in ways I would never be able to do in person. Between what I’ve written in my journal and in this blog, I’ve gained a confidence I never dreamed I would gain. It’s what keeps me writing. Even though I’ve not published my words in a traditional way yet, I find that I’ve taken the lessons from this book and used them long before I even knew the book existed.

I give this book a five-star rating and can recommend it highly. Be aware though that this is not a one and done lesson. You will be using the lessons from this book daily for the rest of your life as a writer.


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