Sunday, March 24, 2013

On Becoming a Writer ~ A Book Review

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I jumped at the opportunity to review Denise J Hughes' first book entitled On Becoming a Writer.  The tagline really grabbed me ...What Every Blogger Needs to Know.

I'm a blogger and I wanted to find out ...what I need to know.

Denise is qualified to write this book.
  • She teaches college composition at a private Christian university (that's English).
  • She's been a blogger for years.
  • She's the daughter of  Marsha, who is one of my favorite bloggers.
  • She's a follower of Christ and often writes about faith.
  • She writes her blog posts so beautifully and descriptively.
  • I learn about writing by simply reading her blog posts.
Since I'm in the process of writing my own book, I need all the help I can get.  So I accepted the offer of a free copy to read and honestly review.

I smiled soon enough as I began to read Denise's words:

To write is to join a conversation.  This is what every blogger does. We enter an online party where discussions are in progress.  We listen awhile.  We lurk.  And when we're ready, we tap that publish button. We join the conversation.

I love that about blogging!  I now have many new friends that I've never met in person.  Well I have met about a dozen bloggers and never been disappointed.  Because I ventured out and choose to join the conversation, I've been blessed.  It's much more fun than lurking!

The book is divided into seven categories listed below.  Within each of these categories are questions.  Denise answers 34 questions in a conversational style.  I found it easy to read and understand.  No wonder she's such a good teacher.  I felt as if I were sitting across a table from her having a cup of coffee.

  1. Joining the Conversation
  2. Getting Started
  3. Knowing Your Style
  4. Learning the Craft
  5. Understanding the Revision Process
  6. Avoiding the Pitfalls
  7. Becoming a Writer

You don't have to be in the process of writing a book to benefit from Denise's book.  I think this should be a must read for every blogger out there.  Bloggers write nonfiction on their blogs. After all, we are usually writing about our own lives.  And nonfiction is much different from writing fiction.  As a blogger, I am always using the pronoun I. After all, I'm sharing my own experiences, right?

If you ever hated English class, please don't let that discourage you from writing a blog.  It's a different venue entirely.

Now we're talking!  However, I happen to be one of those people who actually loved English class.

Denise also writes about knowing why we are writing.  Most people write:

  • To encourage (that's me)
  • To entertain
  • To inform 
  • To persuade
At the end of each chapter is something called "Writing in Action".  As you read this book, you have the option of practicing what you learn. Just like a teacher to give out homework!  But I have to say that it's certainly optional but very helpful.

I especially loved the section on how to engage your reader.  I'm not the best story teller so this helped me.

Overall, I really liked this book.

The official book launch date is Monday, March 25th.  The price of On Becoming a Writer is $4.99.  However, the e-book will be available for free on Monday and Tuesday only.  So don't waste any more time and head on over to Amazon now.  

Blessings and love,

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Loni said...

Thanks for sharing about this book! I just got my free e-book! :) Sounds good!

BARBIE said...

Thank you Debbie! I look forward to downloading this book. I have been blogging for over 5 years, but I need help!

Anonymous said...

Thank you Debbie. I downloaded this on my Kindle. It's perfect timing, I have had two people tell me I need to start a blog -- what a gift this is!! Blessings. Gina

Denise said...

This sounds wonderful; I just downloaded it and I am excited to begin reading it! I would love some new and fresh ideas on how to more effectively encourage and inspire. Thanks for the review Debbie! :)

Blessings and hugs,

Susan Stilwell said...

I was unplugged last week, and glad I plugged back in in time to get the free copy! Thank you, Debbie!

lynnmosher said...

Thanks so much for the review, Debbie! Got my copy!

Denise J. Hughes said...

Debbie, thank you for taking the time to read and share this e-book with others. You are one of the very first bloggers I started reading when I first started blogging. And I've loved your heart from the beginning. You are a wonderful writer, Debbie, and I look forward to reading your own book soon. :)

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