I'm Still Writing
Women Writers on Creativity, Courage, and Putting Words on the Page
by Virginia Ann Byrd
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Pub Date 28 Feb 2023 | Archive Date 14 Mar 2023
St. Martin's Press, St. Martin's Essentials
Thoughts and inspiration from some of the greatest female writers to challenge, encourage, and develop your writing!
In I’m Still Writing, beloved female writers, both past and present, share their thoughts on the joy and struggle of writing. Their words will nurture and challenge your writing, inviting you to dive deeper into your creativity and find power on the page.
Author Virginia Ann Byrd has gathered the words and wisdom of women writers—from different backgrounds, traditions, and times—pairing them with thoughtful reflection questions and inspiring writing prompts. From Jane Austen to Toni Morrison, Isabel Allende to Virginia Woolf, 52 authors offer their wisdom on every facet of writing—from finding inspiration to the nuances of craft and the particular burden faced by female artists.
Divided into weekly chapters, I’m Still Writing is a joyful chorus of women’s voices and a wise guide on your own writing journey. This book will nourish your creativity and help you learn from the very best as you build a thriving, expressive writing practice.
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 19 members
If you are a writer, this book is invaluable. I'm writing this review without having finished reading the book, but I have a valid reason for doing so, I promise! The reason is the absolutely brilliant way this book is formatted and the way it is intended to be read and interacted with.
I'm Still Writing consists of 52 chapters, with each short chapter consisting of 3 parts: Quote/Advice, Listen. and Write. Each chapter features advice from a different female author, and the Listen section is meant to allow you to reflect on the advice. The Write section provides a prompt for the reader to complete. There are 52 chapters to coincide with the 52 weeks of the year, meaning you complete 1 prompt a week. This book is meant to help writers make writing a habit and to help hone their craft.
Because I'm a writer (and I'm also struggling with writer's block), I've chosen to read and use this book as intended: week by week. After I'm done I will definitely be writing another, more comprehensive review. But as of now, having worked through the first 2 chapters, I can honestly say that I love this book and I feel comfortable providing feedback and recommending it to all of my fellow writers. Providing this feedback now, before publication and not at the end of the year when I'll have finished working through it, will help get this book into as many hands as possible, so other writers can benefit from it now.
I'm Still Writing, Virginia Ann Byrd. This was a unique approach to writing inspiration and practice. The book has 52 very short chapters, each beginning with a quotation from a famous woman author, living or dead.The reader is meant to read the quotes and then work through the exercises which occupy about a page below each one. I enjoyed the quotations and the author's suggestions. This book didn't really lend itself to just a straight read through which is what I did. It would be useful if someone wanted to follow the program even if they only did one exercise a month instead of the weekly format suggested by the 52 chapter design. This sweet book would be a valuable source of exercises for a writing group who wants to get together and write from prompts. Alternately, a nice bedside book for a writer or thoughtful reader. Some of the featured writers that I liked the best were Ursula Leguin, Elena Ferrante, Emily Dickinson, and Amy Tan.
The book title invokes thoughts of #stillshepersisted, bringing to mind the triumph of women authors in the past two and a half centuries, from being unable to even admit they wrote, to their current domination of bestseller lists. A nod of gratitude to those who came before.
I read the #netgalley version of this book courtesy of the author, publisher, St Martins Press, who I thank for the opportunity to read this in exchange for an honest review. This book will be published in February 2023. @stmartinsessentials
I’m Still Writing is a compilation of stories with keywords to guide the reader for specific writing tasks… While these are profiles of prolific female writers, this book isn’t exclusively for women. It’s a guide to get over self doubt, writing blocks, obtaining ideas, and more. My favorite way to find inspiration for my writing is to learn the writing process of other writers. For example Celeste Ng gave a wonderful process of reverse outlining. These sort of tips are throughout this non-fiction book. I recommend all writers to consider this book as a writer’s reference.
Thank you to NetGalley, the publisher, and the author for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.
As a writer, I found this book to be helpful. When I have writer's block, it would help me to pick up this book and look at some of the info provided or even just glance at some of the inspirational quotes that were included on the pages. Her writing prompts will continue to be helpful to me over the coming months.
I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
I enjoyed this book a lot. It was so great to have advice from a wide variety of writers all in one place.
This books is busting at the seams with inspiration. Perfect for seasoned creators or those just looking to add a little inspirational practice to their everyday. I loved how thoughtfully curated each writer’s section was and how easy to interact with the short exercises were.
Readers who liked this book also liked:
Mary Higgins Clark; Alafair Burke
Elvin James Mensah
R. F. Kuang
Maya A. Howard
Editors at Storey Publishing
Professor Barbara Ryan, MD, and Elaine McGowan, RD