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Shut up & write! / Judy Bridges.
Includes bibliographical references and index.
1. Authorship. I. Title. II. Title: Shut up and
PN153.B75 2011 808'.02
Review From The Writer Magazine
A Guide Urges Aspiring Writers Along
By Elfrieda Abbe, Publisher
You've wanted to write for years, but something always gets in the way. "There's not enough time." "My family comes first." "I don't have anything important to say."
Well, Judy Bridges, who runs the Redbird Studio writing center in Milwaukee, has some advice: Shut Up & Write! That's the title of her new book, a combination of tough-love coaching and humor that inspires and shows you how to become the writer you want to be. And, though it sounds like boot camp, the book is as encouraging as it is practical.
In her workshops, Bridges has helped a brigade of writers 6,000, she says to follow their dreams, and many have gone on to publication. Now, she's put her years of experience as a teacher into this concise, helpful handbook.
The first chapters gently push readers to get started. Forget all the reasons you can't write and dive in. The most valuable lessons are how to get ideas and develop them into some kind of writing fiction, memoir, essays or magazine articles. The take-aways are writing without editing and writing from inside. Don't try to sound important just write from "deep in your belly." This concept is a key element in her approach. She later shows you how to take what's inside yourself and turn it into a story.
Bridges devotes several chapters to writing fiction, and she has devised effective exercises for developing characters, narrative drive, scenes and tone.
I applaud her for tackling in her section on nonfiction what is probably the most common mistake editors face: unorganized material. You do the research, get all this great information, but how do you organize it? Bridges suggests an "alligator outline," which looks like a sentence diagram but includes key information such as your readers, message and main points.
She likes charts and relies heavily on them in her exercises, which become ever more complex with each page. If you're like me and not into that kind of thing, just focus on the points she's making and devise your own way of incorporating them into your work.
Bridges also includes the preliminaries of forming a writing group, revising and getting published. In the category of what every writer needs to hear at one time or another is her chapter "A Hatful of Rabbits: When the Going Gets Tough," a down-to-earth, honest look at incorporating writing into daily life.
Can anyone be a writer? Maybe not. But you won't know if you can be one if you don't try. As Bridges says, "You want to write? What's stopping you?"
[Elfrieda Abbe is publisher of The Writer. She has interviewed many authors, including Gail Godwin, for the magazine.]
Contact: Judy Bridges
Judy Bridges Inspires Writers with Priceless Advice
Judy Bridges pours years of success as a writing mentor into her book, Shut Up & Write! The founder of Redbird Studio writing center in Milwaukee, WI, Bridges coaches adults and young writers with a combination of tough-love and humor that inspires as it instructs. The book is filled with stories and samples. Topics include: what it takes to be a writer, techniques for writing fact and fiction, bringing real and imagined characters to life, organizing thoughts and material, mastering point-of-view, writing "from the inside," the "get and give" of critique, how to get happily published, and much more.
Renowned for her warmth and fresh insights, Judy Bridges is one of the few people who can say, "Shut Up and Write," without making the hair stand up on the back of your neck. She earned her living as a writer before founding the writing center where she taught (and learned from) over 6,000 aspiring and accomplished writers of all ages. In Shut Up & Write! she shares her wisdom with a no-nonsense, humorous voice that makes writing accessible and reading her book a joy.
Shut Up & Write!
by Judy Bridges
Redbird Studio Press
176 pages, indexed
Distributed through Baker & Taylor and Ingram
BN ID: 2940013276055
Praise for Shut Up & Write!
Encouraging, humorous, straight-talking. Shut Up & Write! is one of the best books I've read on writing. Judy Bridges' no-nonsense voice becomes your portable mentor. Own it, read it, mark it up, laugh with it, and reread it throughout your writing career.
Shut Up & Write! is filled with such practical information and sincere understanding that it's about to become every writer's best friend. The author's narrative style is itself a model for all writers.
Judy Bridges is a driving force behind the many writers she has helped. I wondered if a book could capture that, but I need not have worried. If you want to write, do yourself a favor buy this book and follow her advice. You will not only write, you will succeed.
Shut Up &Write! is one of those rare volumes that truly does it all. In addition to being a practical "how-to" guide, the book provides priceless advice on the care and feeding of the Inner Writer. Laced with wit and a clear, why-didn't-I-realize-this-before brand of common sense, Judy Bridges serves as her own best example of what excellent writing can be.
Shut Up & Write! is both instructive and encouraging. Judy Bridges doesn't grandstand, she doesn't intimidate. She's a teacher in the truest sense of the word.
The reason I hit the 75,000 mark in self-published book sales is Judy Bridges! She is brilliant. I am so glad that through Shut Up & Write! writers everywhere can now have a piece of Judy reflected in their work.
For years Judy Bridges has been helping writers perfect their craft. Shut Up & Write! shares her know-ledge with those who do not have the privilege of working with her directly. I highly recommend it!
I am a published author today, thanks to Judy Bridges. Her knowledge of writing, along with her wisdom, guidance, and uncanny ability to know exactly when I needed a good kick in the pants, were essential to helping me achieve my goal of writing a book. I couldn't have done it without her.