When I was a college student, a series called The Paper Chase was in reruns on some cable channel or other, and my mom and I enjoyed watching it together. It chronicled the lives of several Harvard Law students (and was much less glamorous than Legally Blonde makes law school out to be). The famously strict, buttoned-up Professor Kingsfield was known to tell his students on the first day of class, “You come in here with a skull full of mush … you leave thinking like a lawyer.”
I don’t know if Katharine Grubb had that line of dialogue in mind when she titled her newest work, and she’s certainly not the strict-professor type, but she and Professor Kingsfield have one thing in common: they know how to give people the thinking skills they need to do the work they want to do.
Katharine knows how to teach, and she knows how to teach writers. Here’s her cred: she’s a homeschooling mom of 5 (1 college grad, 2 college students, 2 current high-schoolers), a novelist, and author of three books for writers:
- Write a Novel in Ten Minutes a Day
- Conquering Twitter in Ten Minutes a Day
- When the Timer Dings: Organizing Your Life to Make the Most of 10 Minute Increments
I’ve read, and would recommend, all of these — and I’m not even a novelist! (There was plenty of helpful information in Write a Novel for any writer, regardless of genre).
Today Katherine’s newest book for writers releases, and it’s packed with that same wise, funny, (sometimes) strict, “I get it” kind of advice that characterizes her other books. It was a privilege to get to read an advance copy of Think Like a Writer.
From the introduction to Think Like a Writer:
All successful authors, back in the beginning of their careers, to a mental leap and first saw themselves as writers. They set up their lives, physically and emotionally to achieve their writing goals. They all, for lack of a better term, had a writer mode in their settings, either analytical or emotional (or a combination of both) and tuned into it as they worked on their projects.
How do you get into this “writer mode” Katherine speaks about? There’s definitely a lot of self-discipline involved — even if you only get 10 minutes at a time to work. She notes,
We can be better equipped to manage our lives around our art. I believe that time, tools, and habits can be organized in such a way that interruptions are minimized. Note that I did not say eliminated. I said minimized.
Massive success does not require massive action. What will make a difference, in the long run, is little work on a regular basis.
If you want to learn the power of small, manageable habits in your success as a writer (or your professional success in any sphere), Think Like a Writer is for you.
Copyright 2020 Barb Szyszkiewicz
Images courtesy of Katharine Grubb. All rights reserved.
I was provided a free advance review copy of this book, but no other compensation, for this review. Opinions expressed here are mine alone.
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