Beautiful Writers: A Journey of Big Dreams and Messy Manuscripts--with Tricks of the Trade from Bestselling Authors

Beautiful Writers: A Journey of Big Dreams and Messy Manuscripts--with Tricks of the Trade from Bestselling Authors

by Linda Sivertsen
Beautiful Writers: A Journey of Big Dreams and Messy Manuscripts--with Tricks of the Trade from Bestselling Authors

Beautiful Writers: A Journey of Big Dreams and Messy Manuscripts--with Tricks of the Trade from Bestselling Authors

by Linda Sivertsen


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"I own every writing book ever written, and Linda Sivertsen has done the near-impossible: given writing itself a personality . . . Her stories are cinematic, hilarious, heartfelt, and pitch-perfect—with energy and punch, so often lacking in nonfiction."
—Terry McMillan, #1 New York Times bestselling author

"A page-turning beach read doubling as how-to. Magic."
—Jenny Lawson, #1 New York Times bestselling author, journalist, and blogger at The Bloggess

"An engaging manual that offers writing advice with a big, broad, sunny worldview . . . fans of Sivertsen's podcast will devour this companion volume."
—Kirkus Reviews

2023 International Book Awards Winner & 2023 Firebird Book Awards "Speak Up Talk Radio" Winner

Imagine you're at a dinner party with some of the most successful authors of our time. "Book Mama" and Beautiful Writers Podcast co-creator Linda Sivertsen is the host. As she shares her story of the many hilarious, outrageous, and practical things she did to launch her bestselling writing career, your favorite writers chime in with their own anecdotes, leaving you enlightened and newly inspired. The wisdom in these pages will nourish anyone who appreciates the art of storytelling and dreams of living a creative life.

Beautiful Writers is a love letter to reading, writing, and everyone who reads and writes. It's the book Linda wished she had when she was starting out. In it, she shares—and expands on—the best of advice and storytelling from her podcast and follow-up interviews with literary greats, including:
  • Terry McMillan
  • Cheryl Strayed
  • Tom Hanks
  • Van Jones
  • Jenny Lawson
  • Steven Pressfield
  • Elizabeth Gilbert
  • Anne Lamott
  • Mary Karr
  • Seth Godin
  • Abby Wambach
  • Martha Beck
  • Marie Forleo
  • Lee Child
  • Patricia Cornwell
  • Dean Koontz
  • Maria Shriver
  • Dr. Jane Goodall
  • Sabaa Tahir
  • Tomi Adeyemi
  • Ann Patchett
  • Dani Shapiro
  • Danielle LaPorte
  • Tosca Lee
  • Joy Harjo
  • Deepak Chopra

This heartwarming, how-I-made-it writing memoir from a working writer you've never heard of with inspiration and advice from the legends you love will help aspiring authors avoid common pitfalls and energize career writers with a treasure trove of writing insights from their peers—the details you don't often hear but make a world of difference.

Beautiful Writers is destined to become the evergreen companion for creatives everywhere, answering the burning question, "How did they bust through all obstacles to deliver, day after day, year after year, book after book?"

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781637741030
Publisher: BenBella Books, Inc.
Publication date: 08/23/2022
Pages: 400
Sales rank: 454,013
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

Linda Sivertsen, author, ghostwriter, and coauthor of eleven books (including two NYT bestsellers), is the host of the top-rated Beautiful Writers Podcast and mentor to thousands of writers online and in-person. She pushed through all manner of rejection to realize her dream to write bestselling books AND help save trees and fragile ecosystems. (Linda's a Forest Stewardship Ambassador, and this book is printed on FSC paper, with a percentage of sales going to their nonprofit.) With the added fun of broke-ness, death, and divorce, readers will find Linda uniquely qualified to support them through any blocks.

Linda and her work have been featured widely in the media, including, The New York Times, Inc., Extra, TeenVogue, CNN, HuffPost, Glamour, Los Angeles Times, CARMEL magazine, and on the TEDWomen stage. She loves micro-blogging about all things writing (and dogs and horses!) on social media and blogs regularly at from her ranch office in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Table of Contents

Introduction 1

Part 1 Courting the Muse: The Work and Play Begin

1 No Degree? No Problem: The Myriad Ways to Become a Writer 8

2 Paying the Rent: Making a Living Before it Pays to Write 23

3 Permission and Prophecy: When Faith-Yours or Another's-Fuels You 37

4 Dream Weaver: Inspiration's First Spark 56

5 Scared Much?: Silencing the Bullies, Inner and Outer 72

6 Schedules and Sneaking Around: Finding the Time to Write 89

7 The Honeymoon Phase: Excitement, Execution, and Gaining Momentum 111

8 Dancing with the Muse: Coaxing and Cultivating Creativity 125

Part 2 Toolkits and Dream Teams: The Nitty-Gritty of Delving Deeper

9 The Power of Shared Belief: Writing Groups and Accountability Buddies 142

10 Seduction of Seclusion: Where Writers Find Their Peace 157

11 Cookin' with Gas: Productivity, Mindset, and Energy Hacks 172

12 The Blues, Boredom, and Brick Walls: Persisting Through the Messy Middle-in Life and in Your Manuscript 188

13 Bagging the Big One: Catching and Keeping Your Literary Agent 206

14 Beautiful Book Proposals: Enchanting Publishers with THE Book About Your Book 218

Part 3 Losing Your Religion: Handling Disbelievers and Haters (Even When That Hater Is You)

15 Rejection Only Feels Like Death: You'll Laugh About This One Day 236

16 The Bitch of Comparison: When Everyone Else Hits the Big Time 249

17 Hook 'Em Narratives: Your Life Is Your Best Content 265

18 Edit, Edit, and Then Write Some More: Fun Fact: Writing Is Rewriting 278

19 Slippery as a Seal: The Gifts of Surrender 298

Part 4 Birthing the Baby: Putting Your Work Out into the World

20 Nature Leaves Clues: Life Really Does Conspire to Help You 318

21 Divine Timing and Dreams Realized: Now All Those Delays Make Sense! 335

Conclusion: Sometimes I Forget I'm a Writer 358

Featured Authors 365

Acknowledgments 378

Index 383

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

“Linda Sivertsen is someone everyone should know.”
—Martha Beck, New York Times bestselling author of The Way of Integrity, an Oprah’s Book Club selection

“With her Beautiful Writers Podcast and now this book, Linda’s created the salon we don’t have anymore—where really interesting writers like the A Movable Feast kind of people: Ezra Pound and Hemingway and F. Scott Fitzgerald—are all comparing notes.”
—Patricia Cornwell, #1 New York Times bestselling author (26 Scarpetta novels + nonfiction)

“This is a REALLY good book that will help a LOT of people . . . When I was a guest on the Beautiful Writers Podcast, I told Linda it was one of my all-time favorite interviews. After reading how she’s masterfully interwoven her entertaining publishing stories with our interview excerpts, I feel the same way about being in this book!”
—Steven Pressfield, bestselling author of The Legend of Bagger Vance, Gates of Fire, and The War of Art

“If Linda’s life were a movie, I’d call it a real-life, Hollywood female Horatio Alger story.”
—Leeza Gibbons, Emmy-Award winning talk-show host, and New York Times bestselling author of Take 2 and Fierce Optimism

“I stayed up all night reading Linda’s stories. The fact that her path is landscaped with celebrities, movie stars, gurus, shamans, and astrologers—well, pop some popcorn, you’re in for an entertaining ride.”
—Allison K. Hill, CEO of American Booksellers Association

Beautiful Writers is The Artist's Way for a new generation. The sheer number of years it took to compile all the wisdom in this book is staggering. I love it and think it will inspire many—not just to write, but to find the mystery and divine in their own creative journeys.”  
—Tosca Lee, New York Times bestselling author of Iscariot and The Line Between

"Can’t put it down . . . I must put it down! I want to keep bingeing this addictive book, but it also makes me itch to get up and write. Between the motivating personal insights from celebrity authors and Linda Sivertsen’s own riveting path, Beautiful Writers is that rare combo: an instructive manual you want to bring to the beach. Wish I’d had it while I was writing my own book!"
—Laura Belgray, author of Tough Titties (2023, Hachette), founder of Talking Shrimp, and cocreator of The Copy Cure

"Brilliant, engaging, and conversational, with a palpable enthusiasm that feels like a letter from home.” 
—Paul Williams, Oscar, Grammy and Golden Globe winning Hall of Fame songwriter, ASCAP President and New York Times bestselling coauthor of Gratitude & Trust

“It doesn’t seem possible, what Sivertsen has accomplished with this book: masterfully braiding three genres: memoir, self-help for writers and creatives, and wisdom from the hearts and minds of our most beloved authors and industry pros. Beautiful Writers is practical magic for any writer, aspiring or experienced. You’ll feel a sense of belonging as it catapults your creativity and self-confidence and answers all your nitty-gritty questions from process to publishing. This book is a gift for readers and writers alike.”
—Steph Jagger, bestselling author of Everything Left to Remember

“This is such an original, encouraging, funny, and very helpful offering of a book. Anyone wanting to stoke their creativity will find nuggets of wisdom from many of our great writers and creatives, all wrapped in Linda’s marvelous storytelling. I hope the book flies into a gazillion hands!”
—Elizabeth Lesser, New York Times bestselling author of Broken Open and Cassandra Speaks, and cofounder of Omega Institute

“The perfect nudge and source of inspiration for anyone looking to pursue a career in writing. Linda Sivertsen weaves her personal story with pertinent, relatable anecdotes from literary greats, detailing all of the highs and lows that come along with authoring a book. She provides all the tools to help harness your greatness and silence that pesky doubting voice in your head. Beautiful Writers far exceeds just being a “how-to” guide for authors, and instead serves as a funny, relatable reminder to everyone on how deeply rewarding it is to follow your passions, trust your gut, and create.”
—Brooke Baldwin, veteran journalist and bestselling author of Huddle

“When I look back on my career as a top book publicist, literary agent, author of eleven books, and sister of bestselling author Debbie Ford, the one person I’d call my literary soulmate is Linda Sivertsen. Whether editing one of my books, recommending writing books that transformed my work, or sharing a technique or story with me that altered my thinking, it’s Linda who has had the biggest influence on my writing career.”    
—Arielle Ford, bestselling author of The Soulmate Secret and former book publicist to Deepak Chopra, Marianne Williamson, Wayne Dyer, and Neale Donald Walsch

"What a joy to read! I loved it. The conversational voice will make readers feel like one of Linda's many friends. The stories, both personal and universal to the creative process, are accurate, articulate, and deeply inspirational."
—Guru Singh, world-renowned yogi/spiritual teacher and author of Buried Treasures

“Linda Sivertsen is charming in the most magical sense of the word and this book is a flashpoint of enchantments. Writers you know and love open hidden doorways to pathways of inspiration and practical insight. Linda threads her own life story through the stories of others to illuminate from all directions what it means not just to write, but to transform yourself into a beautiful writer.”
Justine Musk, novelist, essayist, three-time TEDx speaker on creativity

“I own every writing book ever written, and Linda Sivertsen has done the near-impossible: given writing itself a personality. There’s a reason we all say yes to coming on her literature podcast–and to being excerpted about our writing processes in this book. I feel like I’m in the very best company. And. Good God, can this woman write! I love Linda’s voice and her honesty. Her stories are cinematic, hilarious, heartfelt, and pitch-perfect–with energy and punch, so often lacking in nonfiction.”
—Terry McMillan, #1 New York Times bestselling novelist of Waiting to Exhale and How Stella Got Her Groove Back, and eight other bestsellers

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