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Paperback Pen on Fire: A Busy Woman's Guide to Igniting the Writer Within Book

ISBN: 0156029782

ISBN13: 9780156029780

Pen on Fire: A Busy Woman's Guide to Igniting the Writer Within

In her fifteen years of teaching, Barbara DeMarco-Barrett has found that the biggest stumbling block for aspiring writers (especially women) is not fear of the blank page but frustration with the lack of time. What woman doesn't have too much to do and too little time? Finding an hour free of work, children, or obligations can seem impossible. But anyone can find fifteen minutes, whether you're sitting in traffic, waiting at a child's soccer practice,...


Format: Paperback

Condition: Very Good

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Customer Reviews

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If you've ever thought, "I could write that"

Have you read stories in O, The Oprah Magazine and thought, I could write that. Do you have ideas that would make a good essay, novel, memoir, or magazine article? Have you always wanted to get started on these projects but never had the time or just plain didn't know where to start? If so, this is the book for you. Forget complex writing theory...this book teaches you how to translate your ideas into writing AND shows you how to work writing into your busy life. (Not just for women by the way!) This book taught me how to: 1. Get my ideas onto paper. 2. Accept that my first draft might be crappy - but that's OK. 3. Revise my drafts until I had a finished product that I would be proud to show to the world. It's actually pretty easy if you just follow the author's advice. There's no magic here. You don't need to wait for your 'inspiration'. Like the subtitle says, you just need to ignite the writer within. Enjoy the book. Let me know what you think.

Pen on Fire: A Busy Woman's Guide to Igniting the Writer Within

I kept putting this book down to go and write - which was the objective of course! A very readable, entertaining and inspiring guide which demystifies the writing process and makes it accessible to anyone who wants to try. It also contains some very practical tips for writing style and technique.

Get Ready to Be Inspired

Writing guides are tricky: They can be pompous, they can be technical, they can too basic or too specific. But in Pen on Fire, author Barbara DeMarco-Barrett has combined inspiration and practicality, creating one of the best how-to writing books I've ever read. The subtitle of the book is "A Busy Woman's Guide to Igniting the Writer Within," and some of the text definitely has a feminine slant. Women who work, who raise children, who have trouble taking time for themselves, are encouraged to write in any and all available chunks of time. Waiting for red lights, for the water to boil, in the dentist's waiting room, all can be opportunities to get words on paper, or in laptop. But make no mistake - any aspiring writer, male or female, at almost any level, will benefit from spending time with Pen on Fire. DeMarco-Barrett begins on a gentle note, cajoling and urging and promising to guide us into a writer's life, even if it's in 15-minute chunks. She offers suggestions for mining your own life for ideas, for developing your knack for dialog by eavesdropping. She even tackles the touchy issues of whether you should write about friends and family. How much should you make up? How much should you show them in advance? What if they read a journal and take offense? DeMarco-Barrett covers it all. One of the greatest features in this book are the extensive use of interviews of well-known authors, whom DeMarco-Barrett meets while producing a Southern California radio show called Writers on Writing. There may be no absolutes when it comes to, say, discussing a work in progress, or how much plotting needs to be done in advance, or how much research is too much. But it's fascinating to hear from successful writers about how they manage their craft. Each chapter includes a writing exercise, a manageable 15-minute task designed to tackle a specific writing issue. Some focus on possible first lines for a book, on descriptions, and on being more supportive of our efforts. After reading a chapter, some of the exercises are so tempting that it would be nice if this book were produced in journal form, so you could just start scrawling right then and there, without worrying about making notes in the margins or having to find a notebook. Anyone who is interested in stoking their creativity, or finding a muse, or even in how "real" writers work on their craft will enjoy Pen on Fire. Those who give in and fall under DeMarco-Barrett's spell might even find themselves living a writer's life.

How to Be a Writer Every Day

Barbara DeMarco-Barrett's book is stuffed with tools for generating ideas, getting going, and staying with it. She not only gives excellent `big issue' advice-how to find time, physically sit down and write, persist when you can't see the road-but also shows how to live life with the awareness of a writer. Chapter after chapter contain information and tips on how to keep track of ideas, collect words you want to use, read with a writer's perspective, and other daily habits to help a new writer "be" a writer every day. The 15-minute exercises at the end of each chapter are particularly wonderful, akin to practical meditations. This book is aimed at busy women who want to start writing, but I think busy men and anyone who already writes can benefit as well. It is a great book, one that should live on the desk rather than the bookshelf.

Pen on Fire fulfills its promise

Anyone who reads knows that books can change your life, but I've yet to come across a writing book accessible enough to accomplish what it promises. Pen on Fire is that book. It not only encourages the reader to write in small increments of time, it can be read in short doses as well, and the exercises at the end of each section allow the reader to implement what has just been covered. It is apparent that her valuable insights and inspiration come from years of experience writing and teaching. With understanding and humor, Pen on Fire addresses every obstacle and excuse known to writers. I particularly liked the Late Bloomers chapter, which gives hope to those of us who have too long listened to the negative voices in our heads. One of the many things I've learned from being a member of Barbara's workshops is that writing can only be accomplished in pieces, but one day, as she assures us, they will all come together. This is a book that writers will pick up again and again to reread for its encouragement and wisdom.
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