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You've Got a Book in You: A Stress-Free…

You've Got a Book in You: A Stress-Free Guide to Writing the Book of…

by Elizabeth Sims

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Rating: 4 of 5

A fun, informed pep talk sure to inspire all writers - of fiction and non-fiction - especially those feeling stressed and discouraged.

You've Got a Book in You hooked me at chapter one, "Writing a book is easy and fun."


I knew immediately this was NOT the typical writing guide filled with rules and shoulds and other stress-inducing, creativity-killing tips. Nope, here was validation, by a bona fide author, of what my heart knows but my head needs constant reminding.

Sims wrote in a friendly, conversational style with humor and honesty. At NO point did I think she wrote this book as an ego boost, to puff herself up as an expert in all things writerly. Instead, she came across as someone motivated by a genuine desire for every writer to write. I dig that.

Stormwriting and Writing With the Masters opened me up to SO much, I may write Sims a personal "Thank You" note. For whatever reason, her methods truly resonated with me and where my head was stuck the past 18 months.

Highly recommended to beginners, but even more highly recommended to writers who feel stuck or those who forget how freakin' FUN and exciting it is to write. ( )
  flying_monkeys | Dec 21, 2013 |
I'm reserving a permanent place on my desk for this book, right next to my favorite coffee mug and a stack of my favorite notebooks. ( )
  soleil-mare | Nov 4, 2013 |

A number of helpful tips are provided in this book, such as encouragement to worry less on a rough draft, to “simply persist,” to focus on getting the thoughts down and refining them later.

The laid-back “Route 66 placemat” approach to planning helps to make the process feel less daunting. The author’s comparison of writing to improv acting is helpful in conveying her advice on achieving “flow” in writing.

“Finding a garret,” tightening copy, and working through “Writer’s Block” are other useful topics addressed.


While the author uses a great many good words and phrases in this book, I am disappointed that she chose to stoop to the use of profanity in some portions. As she is a member of American Mensa, I have no doubt that she has a sufficient vocabulary to convey her points in a better manner.

Her recommendation of using Wikipedia is too cavalier. There is a general consensus that this is not a reliable source.

Made-up words can be fun; however, they can also be irritating, at least to some of us. “Stormwriting” is one thing; however, I cannot condone “heartbrain.” The author’s numerous references to it annoy and distract me.

While I appreciate the importance of providing examples, I see no need to ruin the ending to the referenced story in doing so, such as the author does with “The Great Gatsby.”

Other Helpful Topics

The author provides helpful details as to how a writer can utilize the concept of “show, don’t tell,” such as with methods of portraying emotion through dialogue and using dialogue markers.

In Conclusion

The tone throughout is optimistic and motivational. I have been able to take away some concepts that I will be able to use to create a smoother process in my writing. ( )
  mariacamp | Sep 16, 2013 |
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Presents advice on how to relinquish worries and write freely with the help of such strategies as writing blasts, brainstorming sessions, and tackling a book project in small pieces.

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