Monday, January 24, 2011

The Productive Writer by Sage Cohen

I was delighted to win a review copy of this brilliant book! This is the best book I've read that offers general advice on writing (I've read some excellent books on how to write poetry, but most general writing advice books have left me feeling disappointed and underwhelmed.) The basic aim of this book is to help the reader (who is assumed to also be a writer!) to become more productive in their writing. It covers such topics as time management, identifying and developing your platform as a writer, thinking productive thoughts and developing your networks in real life and online. All the way through we are given practical advice and exercises to work through. I haven't done the exercises yet, I read the book straight through from cover to cover and could hardly put it down. I aim to read it again early in the New Year and work through it slowly, doing all the exercises. To help me with this I'll use the "Free Productivity Power Tools" that can be found in the middle column of Sage's website.

However already I feel as though my productivity has increased. Since reading this book, I've written two ghazals (both of which have been accepted for publication already!), a review (already published), half a short story and several haiku or similar short poems (6 of which have just been accepted for publication!). I've also co-incidentally heard about a couple of successes for pieces of writing I'd already completed. Plus I've given a successful public reading! So I really do feel like a Productive Writer! I would recommend this book to any writer who feels that they could achieve more. Unless you have bad eyesight. Yes my one criticism is that the text is small, that used in the exercises and highlighted case studies is tiny. My eyesight is fine for reading but I know people who would struggle to read this book, which is a shame.

This review has previously appeared on Crafty Green Poet and on Goodreads.

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