I downloaded an ebook this summer called 70 Solutions to Common Writing Mistakes. As I started reading it, I thought is was far too basic for me. After all, I teach creative writing. Wouldn't I know the basics? But I kept reading it, and then I found myself applying the ideas mentioned in this book to the book I was redrafting for its final version. And the more I thought about what each short chapter was referring to, the more I realized it didn't need to give me the examples I was griping about not being there. If I am a writer, I should be able to apply the advice to my writing and see examples in putting each suggestion into practice. Really it is a book that gives brief insights in to writing without taking up a lot of my time, which I should be using writing.
Chapter 1 is about not starting, which explains why it is called "Not Starting." I remember reading and thinking: Yeah, exactly, like I don't know that to be a writer I must at least put pen to page or keyboard to word processing program. But we all need a kick in the pants, and we all need the rather trite but accurate advice that we must simply sit down and write. But I also realized there were several other things I wasn't starting. I wasn't looking into publishing my book which I told myself I was determined to publish. I had short stories hanging about unfinished, oodles of poetry and four unedited books. I was not active at all on the internet even Goodreads and I read plenty. So even Chapter 1, "Not Starting" applied to me. So the chapters are short, a page, maybe a page and a half, but each offers some simple but essential piece of advice. In the end, I started. Not much has happened past my publishing my book, participating in Goodreads, starting this blog and seeing what is going on out there in the reading world. But I did start and I am continuing as well.