Wisdom From Kammbia Book Review 117: The Write Attitude by Kristine Kathryn Rusch

by | Nov 21, 2022 | 2022 Book Reviews, Marion's Favorite Books, Marion's Favorites, Marion's Reading Life Blog, Nonfiction, Wisdom From Kammbia Column, Writing, Writing and Publishing Resources | 0 comments

“If you as a writer are not willing to take risks, if you’re not willing to fly in the face of conventional wisdom, if you’re not willing to write what you want—screamers be damned—then why are you writing? To please others? There are better ways to do that. Yes, sometimes tackling subjects that others have labeled forbidden is hard. Emotionally and physically hard. But if those subjects interest you, write about them. Embrace the fear, and write. Writing isn’t about doing what everyone else tells you to do. Writing is about doing what your creative voice wants to do.”

I have read a lot of writing guide books over the years. Some are better than others and each writer has their favorites.  However, there is a time during your writing journey where a writing guide book comes along exactly when you need it.  This is the case for The Write Attitude by Kristine Kathryn Rusch.

I believe the opening paragraph should be taped to every writer’s desk or placed in a noticeable place somewhere in the writer’s office.  I mean every writer, whether you are Big 5 NYC published, small or indie press published, or an author-publisher like myself.  Rusch writes probably one of the biggest truism for writers (This truism can apply to all creative types).

I have been writing and publishing since 2014 and while it has not made me a bestseller or rich by any stretch of the imagination. I have seen the changes in the writing industry since that time and there is a belief for author-publishers to be successful is write to market or hit all the main tropes of the particular genre you are writing in. There is a better chance of commercial success if you adhere to those beliefs.  However, what if your writing does not quite fit in the genre box you have tried to force your creativity into?  Or if you can not write to market because it goes against what your natural creative instincts are?

I would highly recommend reading this book and learning from the wisdom of a writing veteran like Kristine Kathryn Rusch.  She has written professionally for nearly four decades across science-fiction, fantasy, mystery, and the romance genres. Her writing advice and experience in publishing provides a brutally honest perspective about the business and how creatives can survive and thrive to have a long-term writing career.

The Write Attitude focuses on the most important aspect of being a writer.  Having the right mindset, being willing to learn craft and business, being open to new ideas to reach readers, and being true to your vision as a writer. The business, your peers, and self pressure can distract from why you wanted to write. This book is a reminder of keeping the main thing foremost.

“The best trait good writers have is empathy. When writers are trying to shout each other down and demand that one side write like the other side, they’re destroying the empathy—as well as their own creativity.”

Bingo.  The aforementioned quote comes from a chapter where Rusch tells how writers can be their own worst enemies. If you write in the way I believe what good writing is or accepted by critics or the gatekeepers, then you can be accepted.  Rusch provides an excellent counterargument to that kind of snobbery and shows it has no place in a writer’s career.

The Write Attitude is a breath of fresh air for a writing guide and will have a permanent place on my writing reference bookshelf along The War of Art by Steven Pressfield, Wired for Story by Lisa Cron, & Structuring Your Novel by James Meredith & Robert Fitzgerald. This is a book I will recommend to new and upcoming writers who want to learn what it takes to pursue a writing career.  Having the right attitude is just as important as being able to write a good story.


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Marion Hill