Write It All Down by Cathy Rentzenbrink | Book Review

“…it can be inspiring to remember that many things that became raging successes came out of left field. There is no reason why the next big thing should not be you! Don’t not write something because it doesn’t already exist. You might make it exist.”

Why do we want to write and what stops us? How do we fight the worry that no-one will care what we have to say? What can we do to overcome the obstacles in our way? Sunday Times bestselling author Cathy Rentzenbrink shows you how to tackle all this and more in Write It All Down, a guide to putting your life on the page. Complete with a compendium of advice from amazing writers such as Dolly Alderton, Adam Kay and Candice Carty-Williams, this book is here to help you discover the pleasure and solace to be found in writing; the profound satisfaction of wrestling a story onto a page and seeing the events of your life transformed through the experience of writing a memoir.

Perfect for seasoned writers as well as writing amateurs and everyone in between, this helpful handbook will steer you through the philosophical and practical challenges of writing, whether you’re struggling with writer’s block or worrying what people will say. Intertwined with reflections and exercises, Write It All Down is at once an intimate conversation and an invitation to share your story.

2. Write It All Down- How to Put Your Life on the Page

As a writer, the biggest investment one needs to make is time. A seed of an idea may germinate in your head. But the path to actually getting your thoughts down on paper is ridden with potholes. It may be procrastination, self-doubt, or the need for perfection. Or you may be boxing yourself in the ways of someone else which, instead of working for you, is making you feel worthless. There could be a plethora of reasons holding you back.

Cathy Rentzenbrink breaks down each of those reasons and puts you on the path to recognising your instincts. The very instincts that define your unique writing voice.

Her approach is simply to write. From a paragraph to a page to a chapter to a book. It doesn’t matter whether you type or write longhand. The key is to write because the more you write, the more you learn from it and can identify what works for you.

The book is divided into four sections: Preparation, Excavation, Crafting and Editing, and Getting Work Done. The author takes you through the entire process of writing a memoir from that first idea to a finished work.

To get you started, she shares easy writing prompts to describe yourself, your environment, or a day of significance. The book is tailored to writing personal memoirs which is far more difficult than writing fiction. You’re laying bare the secrets of your life for the entire world to read and that can be a scary thought. Good writing also means knowing what is relevant to your story so you can filter away the parts a reader need not know.

I’ve read my fair share of books on writing and there’s always something new to learn from each one of them. What stood apart for me while reading this was the feeling as if the author was handholding me through a dark and creepy forest, urging me to be brave and take that next step. 

In reading this book I have been able to dig in and question whatever may have been holding me back on my writing journey. Almost everything she has to say can be applied to writing any form or genre, not necessarily limited to a memoir.

I’m no psychic, but if I were, this book would be my crystal ball of writing that answers every question and assuages all my fears. Having read this book, I’m inspired to trust my writing instincts and run forward with the faith that sooner or later, I’ll find the right path.

Write It All Down: How to Put Your Life on the Page by Cathy Rentzenbrink. Published in January 2022 by Bluebird, an imprint of Pan Macmillan. This ARC courtesy of NetGalley and Bluebird.
 
Book 2 of 2022.
 
Aquamarine Flavours Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟.
 
Available on Amazon*.
 
About Photo: Desk accessories always brighten up a writer’s work area and I love being surrounded by inspiring quotes.
This cute desk block is made from 220gsm cardstock. I used a quote from the book that practically jumped out at me.
2. Write It All Down- How to Put Your Life on the Pageb
About the Author: Cathy Rentzenbrink is the author of the Sunday Times bestseller The Last Act of LoveA Manual for Heartache, Dear Reader: The Comfort and Joy of Books and Everyone Is Still Alive. It took her twenty years to wrestle her own life story on the page and she loves to use what she has learnt about the profound nature of writing the self in the service of others. Cathy has taught for Arvon, Curtis Brown Creative, at Falmouth University and at festivals and in prisons, and welcomes anyone, no matter what their experience, education, background or story. She believes that everyone’s life would be improved by picking up a pen and is at her happiest when encouraging her students to have the courage to delve into themselves and see the magic that will start to happen on the page.
She lives in Cornwall with her family.
You can connect with her on Twitter and Instagram.

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*Disclosure: This post contains an affiliate link which means, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a small commission if you click through and make a purchase.

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