Reading and Writing – NOT Arithmetic

During my three month sabbatical (Jan-Mar) to finish writing The Business of Being, my schedule was simple:

  • WRITE during the day
  • READ in the evening

Some of the books I read were serious; others were laugh-out-loud funny!

When I finish reading a book, if I can give it three or more stars, I write a brief review/recommendation and post it on Goodreads and Amazon. These are the books I read and enjoyed during my sabbatical:

Some people hesitate to write book reviews because they feel they have to be long and involved, but many of the best reviews are short. Here’s one of my favorites:

Note to Self: A Seven-Step Path to Gratitude and Growth is “as good for you as kale, but reads like chocolate—smooth, rich, and fun.” —Leanne Dyck

When you enjoy a book, do you typically write a brief review/recommendation?


Write or Wrong

Last year just before I left for the 2011 Writer’s Institute at UW-Madison I posed the question “Why do writers write?” and shared my thoughts on the matter:

I don’t think writer’s write. I think they’re written through. Somewhere along the way, they gave themselves over to being a vessel through which words flow. A writer can’t not writethey’re compelled to write. Even if it’s only for themselves.

The creative experience of writing unleashes ideas, emotions, and thoughts. This unleashing is euphoric—a state that becomes addictivea way of being in the world that opens the door to endless possibility.

In an eloquent presentation of words and photographs, Winsomebella recently shared why she writes in a post titled, “If You Want To Know Why.”

In my perspective, the only time that writing is wrong is when you don’t…write; when you hold back because of fear or discouragement.

I admire the tenacity of author Darcie Chan, who after receiving over 100 rejection letters from various literary agents decided to self-publish her book, “The Mill River Recluse.” To date, it has sold more than 400,000 copieslanding squarely on the best-seller lists!

As I was contemplating this post, my friend Leanne Dyck posted the following letter (below the photograph) to her 12-year-old self on her blog, The Sweater Curse—cannily named after her most recent book published by Decadent Publishing:

Leanne Dyck age 12

Dear younger Leanne,

You know those stories that you’re working on. Well, you might think that you can just throw them out—unfinished. You may think that because they belong to you, you can do whatever you want with them. Well, you’re wrong. You can’t. You can’t because they belong to me—older Leanne—not you. So, instead of tossing them away, you better file them away for safekeeping. You better or else…

Oh, yeah, and another thing. You might think that by writing all those stories you’re just having fun. WRONG! You’re doing important work. However, you’re only doing half the job. You also need to get someone who can spell and knows grammar to edit them. Ask Mom she’ll help you. Then you need to submit them to literary journals or short stories contests. 

Oh, yeah, and don’t just do it once and think you’re done. Don’t just say, “Oh, well, I submitted it. I didn’t win. I don’t have to do that again.” Don’t think, I tried, failed and now I’m done. The only way you failed is by being done. Simply by continuing to submit your stories, you’re proving that you are a winner. If you don’t continue working until the job is done, well then you’ll leave all that work for me. And trust me, I won’t be pleased.

Oh, yeah, and the most important thing. You may not think you’re smart, but I do. I know how talented you are. And you’re doing a grave disservice by not sharing your talent. So do it. Do it now!



If you wrote a letter to your 12-year-old self, what would you say?


The Sweater Curse

The Sweater Curse by Leanne Dyck

The Sweater Curse by Leanne Dyck

You are cordially invited to a virtual party. Here are the details:

WHO – You

WHAT – A virtual party!

WHEN – Monday, January 10th – all day

WHERE – Follow this link

WHY – To celebrate the publication of my friend, Leanne Dyck’s new book – THE SWEATER CURSE

HOW – On line. Please bring food, drink, and music. To do this, simply follow this LINK and leave a comment with a recipe for your favorite party food, punch recipe, or a link to your favorite party music.

Please tell a friend – the more the merrier!