Writing Book Review: Chicken Soup for the Writer’s Soul

Chicken Soup for the Writer's Soul: Stories to Open the Heart and Rekindle the Spirit of WritersChicken Soup for the Writer’s Soul: Stories to Open the Heart and Rekindle the Spirit of Writers by Jack Canfield
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

To be fair to this book, I don’t think I’m the right “audience” for the Chicken Soup books, or I’m just not inspired by inspiration. This book is full of stories by authors who ran up against one obstacle or another, or wrote about how meaningful writing is, or about how it had changed their life or someone else’s.

This book might have hit the mark for me more when I was sixteen, but right now, inspiration isn’t really what I need on my writer’s journey. Instead, I’m much more interested in reading books that help me deepen and broaden my skills; stories that only offer inspiration feel a little empty. I don’t want warm fuzzies, I want *results*!. In fact, I often found the stories depressing rather than inspiring, as the writers talked about one-in-a-million “lucky breaks,” or how wildly successful they ended up being. Are these books supposed to make one feel inadequate?

Also, it seems the Chicken Soup books rely on cliches, and that’s something that writers are taught to scorn, so … the intended awe and admiration for the writers within this volume’s pages didn’t really materialize.

I almost gave it two stars, but I did record a lot of quotes about writing from within its pages — so if it’s worth quoting, I guess it’s worth at least one more star.

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