Use Your Words: A myth-busting, no-fear approach to writing

Our Deputy Editor gets a fresh injection of writing vigour from Catherine Deveny’s new fear-busting handbook.

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I had only known Catherine Deveny as a fearless and mouthy comedian from Melbourne. I had no idea, until I read this book, that she had been running classes for writers for years, helping them to overcome their psychological roadblocks. She has also written about five books, so she knows how to put words on a page.

At the start of the book she addresses three big struggles that almost every writer has: procrastination, thinking your writing is rubbish, and worrying about what other people think of it. She also dispels unhelpful shibboleths about writing, including the idea that you need to invest a lot of time in it to produce anything worth reading. She points out that Christos Tsiolkas, one of Australia’s most successful writers, spends only 16 hours a week writing.

This is a funny, fear-busting, motivating book that will help even longtime writers to improve their work.

Four and a half stars

Black Inc $27.99

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