Book Review: You Can Love Writing by Connie B. Dowell

coverTitle: You Can Love Writing: A Guide to get through your College Papers and Like it
Author: Connie B. Dowell
Genre: Non-Fiction, Educational
Rating: 4 stars
Purchase: Amazon
Review copy provided by Enchanted Book Promotions in exchange for an honest review.

How would you like to

  • perform with the passion of an Oscar winning actor,
  • compete with the drive and fervor of an Olympic athlete, or
  • teach like you’ve got a Nobel Prize slung around your neck

all while doing your homework?

Believe it or not, you can do all of this and much more in the course of writing your college papers. This book takes you through the overlapping stages of the writing process, using game mechanics, cooperation, and learning styles to help you have as much fun as possible and take charge of your own education. With exercises and activities for groups and individuals, this text focuses on the meat of writing, the big picture elements that matter most in both college papers and real world writing situations, all with an eye toward enjoyment.

Sit down, crack open this guide, and give your favorite notebook a big hug. You may not have a choice about writing your papers, but who says you can’t love them?

After spending five years at law school, I thought I knew how to write papers. I mean, they were always a chore, never really pleasant, and I hated even getting started on them. I usually started way too late (say, a day or two beforehand, a week at most), struggled to finish in time, and then, toward the end, had to work eight hours straight on the paper just to finish in time. Afterward, I would be exhausted and mentally drained. I always told myself I needed to get started sooner, not procastinate as much, but I never really changed my habits.

Maybe if I’d come across You Can Love Writing sooner, I would have. The book tells you how to get started on writing a paper, covering everything from time management (my largest stumbling block), to how to come up with ideas, plan research, revisions, edits, etcetera. The book can be used for any course requiring students to write papers, and the tips are quite useful. I never thought about just writing for half an hour a day (which, admittingly, isn’t that long), instead of going full out and writing for hours on end just to finish on time.

The time management chapter was the most useful chapters for me, but no doubt others will find other chapters more useful. Everyone has their own issues with writing, and the book is multifunctional enough to cover several different issues. A must for people starting college, or any job that requires them to write papers or other academic work. Fiction writers may not benefit that much, but some of the principles (like the word sprints, writing as much as possible in thirty minutes) can be applied to fiction writing as well.