Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Welcome to Zestful Writing by Elizabeth Sims

For years, people have been asking me if I'd ever launch a blog. I've guest-blogged, but have resisted the terrifying commitment of doing a blog of my own. Until today.

Why now? Well, really, this blog is to mark a milestone in my journey as a writer, that being the publication of my first book on writing. You've Got a Book in You: A Stress-Free Guide to Writing the Book of Your Dreams, published by Writer's Digest Books, is now out in wide release. ('Wide release' makes it sound like a movie, perhaps a romantic comedy about a young couple who dream of escaping their 9-to-5 drudgery by team-authoring thrillers set in exotic locales. I like that.)

Why the book? Because for a long time, when meeting someone new who learned that I was a published author of novels and a contributing editor at Writer's Digest magazine, 87% of them said, "Oh, I'd like to write a book too!" and would naturally ask for advice.

I'd respond as best I could, but it always amounted to a brush-off. Seeking something to recommend, I read a few of the most popular how-to-write books, and was dismayed by how often their authors asserted that writing is hard. Very hard. It'll-break-your-soul hard. Also, I realized that most authors, even very successful ones, feel that same way.

Well, hell.

That was not what I had learned over the years of writing a bunch of novels. I learned—taught myself—that writing a book is easy and fun, provided we jettison doubt and fear, and write with a relaxed, free heart.
Reject struggle; embrace zest!

So I wrote You've Got a Book in You to get that message out, and to offer writers tools they can use to teach themselves how to write freely and well.

My aim with this blog is to continue to explore the ideas I developed in the book, and to document my journey, as a writer, teacher, and person.

I know I'll learn a lot as I go, and I hope you will too. I welcome your comments.

If you'd like to receive this blog automatically as an email, look to the right, above my bio, and touch there. Thanks for looking in.

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  1. Howdy! Great first blog! (We met when you were in L.A. giving a talk at the June Mazer Archives. I won the Writer's Digest magazine, which you nicely autographed :)

    1. Cool, Nancy! That was a fun event and I'm glad you were there. Thanks for stopping by my blog. Hope to see you here again!

  2. Ms. Sims, I already admire your wit and humility (and the fact you bring chocolate to book signings!). I very much look forward to the book you've written about writing books.

    If, by chance, lol, you have any interest in mentoring, let me know please because I'm very interested in being mentored!

    Congrats and good luck!

    1. Kerri, it's Elizabeth--no Ms Sims needed. Thank you for the compliment and good wishes; you're very kind. I do offer coaching / manuscript consulting, and if you contact me directly I'll send you my service sheet. I can't put my email address here in case of lurking spam-bots, but if you go to my web site, hit 'contact,' and shoot me a quick email, I'll send it back to you.

  3. Elizabeth,
    Been waiting for the book and it's ordered now. So, let me get this straight - this book will make me a writer...uh, no, a good writer...uh, no, a great writer? LOL. You've already helped me before with dialog in a novel and I'm sure your new book will help writers release the story from within.

    Thanks and congratulations on the blog. I've found that sticking with routine postings is the difficult part.

    Bill Gibbons

  4. Bill! So great to hear from you here. I got your message re: your new book. Congratulations! And I think you're quite talented already, so we'll see what heights you reach...

  5. I found your book at my local Barnes and Nobles a few weeks ago and the title grabbed me (great title!) and I was delighted even more as I began reading. Thank you so much for writing this book, it's such a needed message, and you're right, writing should be easy and fun, otherwise where's the joy.

    1. Saqi, I'm thrilled you're enjoying the book! Thank you for telling me so, and let me know how your writing goes, all right?

  6. I've just started You've Got a Book in You (in my case, an entire shelf full of them, banging around in my head) and I have to say I love the no bullshit, you don't have to be the tortured creative type to create something worthwhile tone of it. That's always bugged me for reasons I couldn't quite put my finger on, and you nailed it rather spectacularly. Thanks for that, and for reminding me that writing can, indeed, be fun, just like it was when I was younger and wanted nothing more than to be a writer when I grew up. I'm much older now than I was then, of course, but it's never too late to get your butt in gear (heck, I'm nowhere near as old as Virginia Lanier was when she started, and I wonder what if...she had started sooner).

    Thanks again!

    1. FLFarmer, I'm delighted to hear from you! Very glad you got the book and are finding value in it. You've really keyed into the core of my message. I would love it if you'd keep me posted on your progress, because I think you realize it's absolutely never too late. You've got your whole writing life ahead of you!


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