Jeff VanderMeer’s BookLife: Strategies and Survival Tips for the 21st Century Writer offers up a multitude of insights into authors’ lives, their careers, and their lives after writing books. A quick read, this book covers much ground in a short period of time, and it’s easy to get lost in the many examples given of how people have dealt with all sorts of crises. By the end of the book, you’ll feel like you’ve seen it all before. The tone is light and casual, but the ideas and the details are solid and sincere.
One of the best things about BookLife: Strategies and Survival Tips for the 21st Century Writer is that it isn’t one big story. While there are several chapters on the history of writing and the business side of things, the book’s main story is about an author’s life. Authors are always told that their work means so much to their audience because it resonates with their souls and brings out their inner being. Reading about someone’s ups and downs, successes and failures is the same sort of experience for the audience. Through the author’s life, he shares some of his most honest and poignant thoughts about success, love, family, friendship, and everyday life.
Much of the book is about setting goals and working to achieve them throughout the author’s life. He begins the book by describing what it’s like to write, and then shares about what he’s done to get to the point where he’s writing every day. There are chapters about motivation, preparation, the business side of things, and finally, a chapter called “roundup” which has excerpts from conversations the author has held with various friends and writers. It’s a fun read full of life experiences that really show the author’s way of thinking and his dedication to his craft. It might be a little different than the normal tips and strategies and survival tips for the writers, but the message is still relevant for other authors as well.
The book concludes with a brief “BookLife: A Survival Guide for the Long-Term Successful Writer.” The advice is about taking one day at a time, doing the work in a timely fashion, enjoying the work you do, and above all else, not giving up on your dreams. I thought this was a good book for any long-time writer to read because it’s so easy to get wrapped up in being successful and seeing your name at the top of the list of best-sellers. It’s an ideal “mentor” book for authors just starting out who want to be successful immediately. I highly recommend this book to any new or current writer who wants to take their career to the next level.
BookLife: Strategies and Survival Tips for the Long-Term Successful Writer focuses on the author’s life as it relates to being a writer and how that affects the writing. Authors should plan their lives before even thinking about writing a book. This book provides the author’s “secret” to success and that is to simply relax and focus on doing the work at the time. While it may seem like a silly book title, it’s actually a great way to begin and I think most will agree that it’s a sound strategy for any book writer to follow.
As the author’s life changes throughout the course of the book (pacing the events of her professional life and personal life), she becomes more aware of her needs as a writer and what she wants from her career. Each chapter focuses on a specific aspect of the author’s life and how it will affect her creativity and career. Some of the chapters are simply wonderful! Other chapters are practical (such as chapters on finding publishers, keeping contracts, self-publishing, and working with agents), humorous, and informative.
BookLife: Strategies and Survival Tips for the Long-Term Successful Writer was published by Hachembooks, a small publishing house started and run by Amy Heslin and her husband, Jacob Heslin. The couple chose to publish this book because they wanted to share “their” story about their “struggle to be good writers.” They were both successful writers, Amy in print and offline, Jacob on radio, TV, and web content. One of their goals was to provide “a little something” to people who might otherwise “miss out,” and they think they succeeded. This book is a “must-read” for anyone who wants to improve their writing skills and be successful as a writer.
Overall, BookLife: Strategies and Survival Tips for the Long-Term Successful Writer is a “must-read” for anyone who wants to improve their writing skills and become a successful writer. I think the authors did a good job of sharing some “secrets to success” through this book. There are plenty of similar books on the market today, but I don’t know of any that cover as much ground as this one. It’s a “must-read” for anyone who wants to write, even if just to vent their frustration at work. For the authors, it’s a good “book read” before writing your next novel.