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.
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
–Midwest Book Review
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
–Dr. Betty Edwards, best-selling author of Drawing
on the Right Side of the Brain and Drawing on the
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
–Ralph Keyes, author of The Courage to Write
and The Writer's Book of Hope
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
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
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
book breaks down the writing process for people who think
they can’t write or aren’t comfortable writing.
–Mankato Free Press
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)
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
–Mayra Calvani, Blogcritics Magazine
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.
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