Reviews of Writing for Life: The Craft of Writing for Everyday Living
by John D. Bessler





Bessler’s book is part inspirational guide and part how-to manual for anyone who has ever encountered a blank page. He demystifies the writing process by breaking it down into manageable steps and offers would-be writers valuable techniques for improving both their writing and their enjoyment of it. He draws liberally upon the wisdom of the world’s best writers to inspire the everyday writer.
Minnesota Magazine


In Writing for Life: The Craft of Writing for Everyday Living, two-time Minnesota Book Award finalist John D. Bessler succinctly demystifies the writing process by breaking down and illustrating each step of the process from pre-writing preparation to final publication. Writing for Life is a thoroughly ‘user friendly’ instruction guide covering all of the tools and expertise needed to improve anyone’s writing skills and abilities. Informed and informative, Writing for Life is also engaging and even inspiring...Writing for Life is skillfully written, comprehensive, practical, and especially recommended for anyone who has an aversion to writing, as well as those seeking to improve the quality of their own written work.
Midwest Book Review


This has got to be one of the best books ever published on how to become a writer. How I wish I had had it before I ever sat down to write my book on drawing! From simple matters of paragraphing and punctuation to deep probes of what writing is and why we value it, John Bessler's book informs and inspires the new writer. He illuminates every point with quotations from our greatest authors, providing a rich feast of new and old thoughts on writing. For the person who longs to fulfill that uniquely human urge for self-expression in writing on whatever subject, this book is the place to start.
–Dr. Betty Edwards, best-selling author of Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain and Drawing on the Artist Within


Writing for Life is filled with wise counsel and sound advice. Reading John Bessler's well-researched book will help those setting out on the writing trail reach their destination more surely.
–Ralph Keyes, author of The Courage to Write and The Writer's Book of Hope


John Bessler comes to the craft of writing from an odd perspective, he is a lawyer. This must surely be the only writing book to mention the Code of Hammurabi! Bully for Mr. Bessler! He’s written a well-argued brief for the craft and joy of writing and studded his text with well-chosen ‘precedents,’ countless good examples and anecdotes from literature, history, science, and politics. His advice is both practical and persuasive. The jury of readers should adjourn fast to their notebooks with pencils poised to begin the adventure of writing clean, accurate, and literate prose because that’s what human beings do at their best.
–Bill Holm, writing and English teacher at Southwest Minnesota State University and author of several books, including The Heart Can Be Filled Anywhere on Earth, Eccentric Islands, and Playing the Black Piano


In his inspiring and passionate book on writing, Bessler tackles the often intimidating subject like a true scholar and expert...Think of the book as a more intellectual Bird by Bird. A writing bible that's inspirational, honest, and beginner-friendly...
–Molly Priesmeyer, freelance writer


Bessler...dispels the notion that writing is just for literary figures or professional writers and reveals the writing process as a thinking process, breaking down and illuminating each step, from pre-writing to publication. The book demystifies the writing process for beginners and experienced writers alike. Chapters are highlighted with blocks of inspirational quotations...
–Reference & Research Book News


Bessler’s book breaks down the writing process for people who think they can’t write or aren’t comfortable writing.
Mankato Free Press


Writing for Life: The Craft of Writing for Everyday Living, the fascinating new book by John Bessler, was published by Bottlecap Books...Anyone who writes anything will love this book, especially discouraged writers, and who isn’t?
–Carol Connolly, St. Paul, Minnesota’s Poet Laureate (Law and Politics)


I was pleasantly surprised by John D. Bessler's Writing for Life: The Craft of Writing for Everyday Living because, while it touches on the same topics that similar books touch upon, [it] does it with more depth and detail.... Using lots of interesting quotes from some of the great writers and offering helpful tips, the author meticulously discusses a long list of topics such as the importance of daily practice, perseverance, discipline, style, editing, polishing and revising, storytelling, and freewriting. He also writes about procrastination and writer's block—what it is and how to cure it.... [T]hese are the same topics that pop out in any writing book, but the difference here is that Bessler goes much deeper and examines the issues in more detail.... Writing for Life is a smart, insightful and sophisticated book. It is also well researched and would serve as a fine addition to any writer's reference bookshelf.
–Mayra Calvani, Blogcritics Magazine


Everything necessary to convince readers of the importance of writing well, to get reluctant writers off to painless beginnings, and to eventually deepen the writing experience for those who commit to the process are, I believe, in this text. And I'm relieved that the chapter which stresses the dire need for revision and proofreading is balanced by a chapter granting the reprieve of "Rest and Relaxation." As in the other three books that John has published, his style and voice are always comfortable, well-informed, articulate. Clearly he has lived the process before championing it.
–Chris Thiem, High school English teacher


Writing for Life: The Craft of Writing for Everyday Living . . . takes us through a complete process of writing . . . but it's the substance within his chapters that makes one realize that this isn't just another book about writing. One thing that distinguishes this book about writing from others is that Bessler doesn't give us just a process for writing and his own experiences; his work is also highly referenced with a variety of sources. In addition, he moves to broader issues, such as the current state of writing in American education and the workplace . . . . As a writing instructor and co-director of a university composition program . . . I see his book as one that could be very useful for the beginning writer, but with his extensive research, I also see it as a text that could be used by very skilled writers and perhaps even in the writing classroom. Overall, I see Bessler's work as probably the most extensive writing project that I've ever seen in that genre of "writing books."
–Mary Bauer Morley, North Dakota Quarterly


This book gives readers the know-how and tools they need to write more effectively. This inspirational guide unlocks the secrets of the craft, excites readers about the possibilities of language, and will help both beginning and experienced writers alike better navigate the writing process.
Writers' Journal




Contact Us

Bottlecap Books
514 N. Third Street
Suite 105
Minneapolis, MN 55401



Copyright © 2008, Bottlecap Books. All rights reserved.