Time for another book review in this new style post that’s
not on a Thursday. And this was one of the few non-fiction reads planned for
2019. Plans are like rules, of course.
Finish the Damn
Book!: An Inspirational Guide to Writing
McConnell (Goodreads Author)
This isn’t about
grammar or syntax, it’s a wake up call for anyone wanting to write a book,
create artwork, or craft lyrics and poetry.
Write faster, improve
faster, and create poetic prose through this iterative process.
New writers often
struggle at first. Experience enhances writing ability. The only way to improve
is to write more, edit more, and iterate. McConnell puts you on the fast track
to developing your writing skills and gives you the motivation needed to
overcome not only writers block, but to boost your productivity in all aspects
The biggest obstacle
to becoming an author is finishing the first draft, and that monster known as ‘writers
block’ is usually the scapegoat. This book will show you how to put that
monster in the corner while you crank out chapter after chapter.
It’s short, fun to
read, and will leave you reaching for an ink pen by the time you’re done. Put
away the distractions and excuses and finish that damn book!
Review 3.5 stars
Finish the Damn book! is a short motivational book that was what I needed to get me back to the keyboard of creativity – well almost. It might be focused on new writers, but writers struggling with monsters like ‘writer’s block’ and ‘prevarication’ will get a kick out of the forthright lessons – a kick in the ass as the author says.
McConnell doesn’t mince his words
in delivering his honest message, albeit one that some of us have heard often –
and ignored. The book is neatly divided into two parts: ‘The First Draft’ and ‘Post
Draft’ with useful appendices for further digging. Getting your first draft
down without distractions, excuses, and evasions, is the primary goal in simple
suggestions that rang true for me. Only when that first draft is finished can a
writer tackle the editing phase – harder but fun.
This isn’t a writing guide with detailed
steps on what to do, but a series of motivational kicks to keep you on the path
of getting a book finished. Like me, other writers might find that McConnell’s
productivity is daunting and some of his suggestions questionable. Yet, he advises
taking what we need and discarding things that don’t fit with our approach. But
there are warnings of dangers when we wander. Just don’t expect everything claimed
on the tin.
This isn’t a desk-bible for me, but when I wander off-piste I will dip back in. Four stars minus 0.5 for irritating editing mistakes – like ‘reigns’ for ‘reins’. Given the author’s editing suggestions, I was surprised.
I won this book in a
NaNoWriMo-related competition with no obligation to write anything – but I am
grateful to Martin McConnell for sending me a copy. And my NaNo wins prove to
me that there is value here.