Sunday, January 29, 2006

Way of the Cheetah

Way of the Cheetah: How to Boost Your Productivity by Lynn Viehl. 2006.

So you call yourself a writer, or would like to, but there just doesn't seem to be enough time. Maybe the distractions of your busy life get in your way. Maybe you start strong but have trouble finishing anything. Don't lose heart; the cavalry is here.

Lynn Viehl, well known arounf the blogoverse as Paperback Writer, offers her views on what it takes to be a successful writer in Way of the Cheetah: How to Boost Your Productivity. Her practical, no-nonsense approach to the writing life is refreshing and inspirational. These are the "secrets" that have enabled her to sell 32 novels in six years, 9 in 2005 alone. As a member of the elite Million-Words-a-Year Club, Viehl knows how to produce, and now she is sharing her methods with the rest of us.

Cheetahs have to produce in order to survive. They don't spend time worrying about what the other cheetahs think, or if they're "doing it right". They hunt, or they starve. Just like the cheetah, writers have to produce to be successful. They have to write. Butt in chair, words on paper. That work ethic is the biggest price of success, and the hardest habit to develop. Way of the Cheetah shows you how.

Viehl offers her proven tactics for overcoming distractions, organizing your work space, breaking out of the dreaded cyle of the Eternal Edit, and getting past all the other traps that await the unwary. Above all, she emphasizes the necessity to take your writing seriously. If you want a hobby, consider stamp collecting. Writing is hard work. You can't avoid that work, so you have to be serious about it.

At 71 pages, Way of the Cheetah is by no means a hefty tome, but each of those pages contains golden nuggets and sparkling jewels just waiting for you. Each of the 8 steps along the Way gives hard, practical advice for increasing your productivity, followed by exercises designed to guide you through putting that advice to work in your own writing life. Some of it will work for you, some will not, but every writer will find something here to benefit their career. I know I sure have.

I highly recommend Way of the Cheetah to all writers looking for the path to success. My feet are beginning to tread the Way, come join me.

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