cover image Written: How to Keep Writing and Build a Habit That Lasts

Written: How to Keep Writing and Build a Habit That Lasts

Bec Evans and Chris Smith. Icon, $25 (288p) ISBN 978-1-785-78903-8

In this useful guide, writing coaches Evans (How to Have a Happy Hustle) and Smith offer advice for developing a successful writing practice. Evans writes of being stymied in her creative efforts after switching to a more flexible job. Now, she wondered, with “all the time and inspiration in the world,” why couldn’t she be as productive as she was when she was “burned out and working twelve-hour days.” After conducting surveys and interviews with writers, the authors found that individualized routines and rituals are essential to writing practices, as they acted as a support system for writers to lean on when difficulties intrude. Writers should adopt an “experimental” attitude to discover what works for them, the authors advise: some require tomblike quiet, while others are motivated by busy surroundings. Moving on, they tackle different elements of the creative process, among them carving out time to write, starting projects, and overcoming writer’s block. Evans and Smith weave in anecdotes about the struggles and breakthroughs of famous authors, including Margaret Atwood, who endured “six months of futile striving” before starting The Handmaid’s Tale. This entry advances a refreshingly honest approach to writing—it isn’t supposed to be easy, and mistakes are part of the process—and the authors’ upbeat tone will cheer on readers. Writing pros and amateurs alike will be eager to start typing. (May)