I don’t expect an e-book to be as long as a traditional print publication or electronic version of such, but I do expect it to contain more information in the average Writer’s Digest article and to be well written. I also expect it to deliver on the promises stated in the posted description and title of the book. Mr. Healy’s book delivers on all of these things.
He starts with explaining why most people write slowly and explains why you need to write faster than you do today in the first two chapters of the book, and then describes and examines the power (benefits of) 10 different productivity accelerators: Structure, Process, Ideas, Habit, Single-Mindedness, Focus, Inspiration, Rest, Repurposing and Deadlines. In each section, Healy explores the specifics about the accelerator, how it benefits you as a writer, and then shows you how he applies the principle in his own work.
The principles within are not new to me. I practice most of them in my writing in some form or another, but I always benefit from seeing how another working writer applies them to his work. He also points out the pitfalls of doing stuff wrong, such as here when discussing the Research portion of the Power of Process section:
“But research is subject to the law of diminishing returns. The whole point of the research is to enable you to write well on your subject. So do your research, but don’t get stuck there.”
I also love the fact that he acknowledges how hard it is for him to “kill his darlings” and creates a “copy scraps” file to save the writing that he needs to delete, but isn’t quite ready to let go of. I do the same thing in my work and, like Healy, I find it comforting to have it. Even though I rarely use it, taking this action frees my mind from the anxiety of loss, so I can focus on moving forward.
If you have doubts about your ability to implement these actions because your life is too hectic, Healy reveals that he has four children and that they home school them, so a busy life is not an excuse for being unproductive.
The section that I received the most benefit from was the Power of Inspiration section:
“So one of the keys to writing faster is to always act on your inspiration. Don’t ignore it. Don’t wait until tomorrow or the weekend ot whenever it happens to be convenient. Rearrange your schedule to take advantage of your inspiration when it happens. If you wait, your excitement will pass and the emotional fuel will have evaporated into the ether.”
To recap: Good book, great use citing other authors and resources for supporting information, excellent writing, and plenty of examples of how the author implements each of the Power of sections complete with links to other resources. I think this book is a must read for anyone starting a career as a writer or those who have already started but are struggling with the discipline and high productivity essential for success in the writing biz. And even experienced writers like myself can learn a new thing or two from the book and see how another writer confronts the problems universal to writers everywhere. I will read other works by Mr. Healy and check out his blog from time to time and I suggest you do the same.
Buy it from Amazon Here: Speed Writing for Nonfiction Writers
Rating ***** Well Worth it at Full Retail Price ($2.99 as a Kindle eBook)
About Ratings: ***** — Well Worth it at Full Retail Price; **** — Buy on Sale/Discounted; *** — Buy Used; ** — Borrow It from the Library; * — Waste of a Good Tree