Some books are like security blankets. You don’t really need them, but you want them. They make you feel good. They make the world less scary. They are nice to curl up with on a lonely night when life is against you. TAKE JOY is just such a soft and cozy book.
The chapters are short with tiny, gentle lessons on craft–things like how to write a good first line and how to write with honest emotion. In between lessons on craft are even shorter chapters Yolen calls “interludes.” These funny snippets are apt observations about the writing life. Yolen discusses things like the gap between dream and reality, families nibbling away a writer’s precious time, and why rejection letters don’t mean anything.
Yolen’s topics are well-worn and cover things that most of us already know. TAKE JOY didn’t teach me new things about the craft of writing, but it inspired me. Yolen reminded me why I love writing so much. She made me feel lucky that I get to do this incredible thing. She showed me ways to look at my writing–and myself–that just plain feel good.
It’s a refreshing antidote to those “writing is so hard!” complaints I’ve been reading in blogs and books. Sure, writing can be challenging, especially if one wants to do it well. But it’s a fun challenge, one that most writers embrace with excitement and yes, joy.
TAKE JOY is going on my keeper shelf. If the writing world ever starts to feel cold and harsh, I’ll know exactly which book to take with me as I snuggle under the covers.
rating: 4 stars
pie slices: 5 slices inspiration, 3 slices craft
This book is best for: beginning to intermediate writers
I recommend this book