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The Writer's Book of Hope: Getting from Frustration to Publication [Paperback]

Ralph Keyes
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 222 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martins Press-3pl; 1 edition (Sep 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0805072357
  • ISBN-13: 978-0805072358
  • Product Dimensions: 21.1 x 14 x 1.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,132,372 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars THE WRITERS HOPE 26 Oct 2010
By jakki
Format:Paperback
CONSIDERING WRITING A BOOK MYSELF, SO NEEDED SOME POINTERS / HELP

DETAILED BOOK

JUST WHAT I NEEDED

GOOD CONDITION

THANKS
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Amazon.com: 4.7 out of 5 stars  15 reviews
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Encouraging and Informative 29 Nov 2004
By Ron Atkins - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Keyes does a great job presenting the case for finding hope in the writing process. This book specifically discusses: dealing with anxiety, frustration and despair, overcoming the discouragers in your life, exorcising excuses for not writing and pursuing a career in writing, the rites of rejection, the nature of publishers and editors, and how to keep hope alive.

Years ago I had a basketball coach who taught "if you're not getting at least four fouls in a game, you're not playing defense." He didn't like fouls, but his point was, in the process of playing the game aggressively, fouls are going to happen. Fouls are not necessarily indicators of defeat, they are indicators of effort. Likewise, Keyes' approach to rejection is that all successful writers deal with rejection. In his book he provides numerous examples, including Nobel and Pulitzer prize winners, of authors who face rejection even after winning critical acclaim. Rejection is a fact of life, Keyes say, learn to deal with it. Easily stated, but it still hurts. According to Keyes, writers who have not experienced rejection are not sending out enough material; and, writers who don't learn to accept rejection as part of the writing process, are doomed to quit writing altogether.

Keyes is the author of another book titled "The Courage to Write," which I highly recommend. Similar books by other authors which I would also recommend for the aspiring writer include: "On Becoming a Novelist," by John Gardner, and "The Forest for the Trees," by Betsy Lerner.

Ron Atkins is the author of two children's books, Abby and the Bicycle Caper, and his upcoming (January 2005) Abby and the Bike Race Mystery.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A new lease on my writing life 30 Jan 2004
By A. B. Schwartz - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I've read enough self-help and inspirational books, and books about writing, to last a lifetime, so when I spied The Writer's Book of Hope at my public library, I hesitated. But the title caught my eye, and I ended up gulping it down it in a few sessions. I'm glad I did-it's given me a new perspective on my writing practice. I've learned that frustration, cluelessness, and despair are a normal part of the writing process. And while I still encounter the same writing problems I did before, I'm more easygoing about them. It's as if I've adopted a new attitude: "So I'm clueness at the moment-that's OK, it will pass." I'm much more at ease and confident of my abilities, and I've developed a broader perspective on the writing process-all of which is increasing my productivity and enjoyment at my typewriter.
The book is clearly the result of a lot of research. (Check out the photos on Keyes' Web site showing the yards of file cabinets in his house.) Keyes doesn't trot out the tired authors' anecdotes that we've all heard before; he serves up a host of tidbits that were new to me. The quotes by masters (such as Tolstoy) about their lack of "talent" are alone worth the price of the book. I also appreciated Keyes' no-nonsense tone. I was expecting New Age warmth and fuzziness, but Keyes pulls no punches. Take his observation that some people who give up writing do so not because they lack talent, but because they are uncomfortable spending long periods alone. That's not a "nice" thing to say, but it's truthful and important to know.
The Writer's Book of Hope delivers on its promise. It provides practical hope and inspiration to writers based on a clear-eyed view of the writing profession. It gave me a new lease on my writing life.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Every writer needs hope 6 Aug 2004
By S. DeBow - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Every writer needs hope. And hope is what I always get when I read and reread Ralph Keyes's book, The Writer's Book of Hope.
As an experienced, many times published writer, people might think I've got this writing profession figured out. But I don't. And on those days when I'm feeling lonely, dejected and sometimes rejected, I know I can turn to Keyes's book to help me realize I'm not alone in my insecurity and feeling of flakiness.

There are days when I wonder if it isn't too late to go to plumbing school or enroll in the matchbook school of mosaic tiling. Writing does that too you. Plays games with your mind and confidence.

But when those days creep up on me, I find solace in Hope. It makes my green skin turn less bright when I read John Grisham received twenty-some odd rejections and agents turned down JK Rowlings. Yet they persisted. And that, among other things is the difference between writers who stay the distance and those who let the publishing world get the better of them.

Keyes has been there. He's one of us. He's not on a perch talking down to us wannabes. He's simply further in his journey than many of us. And that qualifies him as a leader. And the fact that he's willing to share the good, bad and ugly of this writer's world is generous.

Reading the book is like sitting in an easy chair talking to a wise sage (with a little bit of mischief in his eyes) talking about the world of writing. Eyeball to eyeball. Writer to writer...friend to friend. And by doing so, Keyes offers us that thread that tethers writers together in this profession that is not for the faint of heart. And for that I'm grateful.

Susan DeBow, writer
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Food for the Hungry Writer 2 Oct 2003
By Bruce H. Rogers - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
The Writer's Book of Hope is an excellent antidote to the discouragement toxins that build up in writers over time. Actually, it's a whole medicine cabinet of antidotes. Anxiety, Frustration, and Despair are part of the emotional experience of all writers, from beginners to established professionals, and Keyes offers a wide range of uplifting and motivating perspectives that will help writers to keep doing the work that nourishes them. This volume is every bit as good as Keyes's previous title, The Courage to Write. Both are highly recommended.
-- Bruce Holland Rogers, author of Word Work: Surviving and Thriving as a Writer.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pick Up Your Pen and Step Away From the Ledge 26 Dec 2005
By Gina Holmes - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
The Writer's Book of Hope, released in 2003, continues to be a beacon of hope to those on the long and tumultuous path to publication.

Keyes gives anecdote after anecdote on writer's rejected who went on to become best-sellers.

Excerpt:

"Ursula Le Guin sent out her first story when she was eleven. She got her first acceptance at thirty-three. James Dickey endured years of form rejections before he finally saw hand-writing on one that said, "Not bad."

According to James Lee Burke's agent, 100 editors turned down Lost Get-Back Boogie (including multipe editors at the same house) before Louisiana State University Press bought Burke's first novel for a pittance.

It's a rare writer who doesn't have to hack through a jumble of rejection slips before (and after) getting published. Some of history's best-known books were rejected many times before finally being accepted. The Ginger Man, by J.P. Donleavy--now considered one of the best 100 novels ever published--was turned down by thirty-six publishers before it found a home..."

Besides happy endings to rejected beginnings, Keyes takes us inside the world of publishing. Some of the Chapter titles:

~AFD Syndrome~ (before drinking hemlock)
~Dealing with Discouragers
~Rites of Rejection
~The Publishing Tribe (Why publishing Resembles High School)
and more...

This book is one of the few writing books I can't bring myself to give up. Every so often, I find myself discouraged beyond reason, and this book takes me back from the ledge of despair.

It's a must read for any pre-pubbed writer needing an injection of optimism.

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