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Book Jacket

241 pages
Aug 2006
Writers Digest Books

Writing for the Soul: Instruction And Advice from an Extraordinary Writing Life

by Jerry Jenkins

Review  |   Author Bio  |  Read an Excerpt


In this fast-paced information age, it takes a lot for a writer to stand out.  In Writing for the Soul, best-selling author Jerry B. Jenkins instructs his fellow writers how to do just that through personal anecdotes and helpful advice.  Beginning writers are often blind to the obvious mistakes and cliches in their own work, but Jenkins’ book helps to reveal when and where these problems occur and how writers can avoid them.  He also demonstrates how to get into the writing industry more easily and how, in the process, to remain a faithful Christian and witness.

Aside from being an author, Jenkins worked as a magazine editor, as well as a book publisher for many years.  These invaluable experiences give him a unique insight into the publishing world.  Not only does he aide his readers in becoming better writers, but he also tells his readers what editors are thinking and discussing behind closed doors—what they are searching for as publishing material (and what they don’t want).

Throughout the book, Jenkins shares pieces of his personal interviews with sports stars and celebrities such as Billy Graham, Paul Anderson, Nolan Ryan, and Madeline Manning, among many others.  These stories are not only entertaining and comical, but also allow his readers to get a more accurate picture of what it was like for Jenkins as he worked his way up through the publishing industry channels.  Jenkins also includes answers to countless interview questions that he has been asked throughout the years, giving insight into the reasons he writes the way he does. There are also several excerpts from his books and the works of other authors, that illustrate his different points and ideas.

One of the most important aspects of Writing for the Soul are his thoughts on faith and family life.  Through fame, success, wealth, and whatever else has been thrown his way, Jenkins made the decision to keep his faith and family as his two top priorities, even when the world was telling him otherwise.  He shares valuable insights about the decisions he made early on in his career (and about the sacrifices that went along with them) so that his family and Christ could be first in his life, and how God blessed him because of it.

Although blunt, Jenkins’ tone remains consistently and refreshingly humble, straightforward, and gracious throughout the entire piece.  He is not embarrassed to point out the past mistakes in his own writing career so that other writers may learn from them.  Jenkins does not simply present his ideas, rather he records what has worked, and what hasn’t worked, for him in the past. He doesn’t just point out where the problems are, he also gives the solutions.

Writing for the Soul is a must-read for both teenage and adult writers who wish to drastically improve the style and depth of their work.  Even non-writer fans of Jenkins will enjoy this to learn more about Jenkins himself and his journey to success. – Jennifer Opperman, Christian Book

Book Jacket:

In Writing for the Soul, best-selling author Jerry B. Jenkins takes you on a personal and inspiring journey, imparting experience and wisdom gained from his impressive writing career. Unknown in his early days, Jenkins persisted in his passion to write, and his story reveals the rewards that can come to writers who put in the hard work and keep their priorities straight. Jenkins shares the honest and straightforward truth about how to find writing success and why the journey is a continuous one.

With heartfelt advice and intimate anecdotes that will satisfy writers and fans, Jenkins discusses:

· the skills and abilities required to build an exciting career
· breaking into the industry through reporting and writing for small markets
· establishing and maintaining a professional image
· how even experienced writers should continue to learn and grow (including Jenkins himself)

Writing for the Soul is filled with Jenkins’ autobiographical stories—including many of the famous people he’s written about—and the lessons he’s learned from his decades of experience in the writing and publishing world.